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A Diary of the first survey of the Canadian Boundary 
Line from St. Regis to the Lake of the Woods by 


American Agent under Articles VI and VII of the 
Treaty of Ghent 

From the original manuscript recently discovered 

Robert Mcelroy 

Professor Emeritus of Oxford University and 
former Professor at Princeton University 


United States Commissioner, International 
Boundary Commission, United States, Alaska 
and Canada, and former Governor of Alaska 




To Brig. Gen. John Ross Delafield, President of Dela- 
field Family Association, Inc., by whose kind permis- 
sion we were allowed to use the collection of family 
manuscripts, in addition to the large collection in the 
National Archives, without any restrictions whatsoever. 



Introduction 3 

The Diary 

Book One 135 

Book Two 169 

Book Three 191 

Book Four 217 

Book Five 245 

Book Six 266 

Book Seven 296 

Book Eight 323 

Book Nine 335 

Book Ten 359 

Book Eleven 388 

Book Twelve 430 

Index 469 


Major Joseph Delafield Frontispiece 

Section of Mitchell's Map, East, showing St. Croix River 1 6 

A Delafield Survey showing Muddy Lake, St. Tammany, 

Island and Neebish Channels 64 

The Oswald line from Isle Royal to Lake of the Woods 80 

Facsimile of letter from John Adams to Joseph Delafield 88 

Section of Mitchell's Map, West 96 

The Triangle saved by Major Delafield as shown on a 

Revolutionary Map 1 1 2 

Boundary claims of 1842, by England and America 128 

Webster-Ashburton line, West, shown on a map surveyed 

under Acts VI and VII of Treaty of Ghent 144 

Facsimile pages from the original Diary 224 

Major Joseph Delafield as a young man 336 

Map of Detroit Section in 1820, showing Grosse Island, 

Stony Island and Bois Blanc Island 352 


by Robert McElroy and Thomas Riggs 



To define a boundary is quite different from determining one. 1 The 
first attempt to define the entire boundary of the United States was 
made during the negotiation of the Peace of 1783, when certain of the 
negotiators marked on large maps red lines, designed to show where 
the territory of the United States was supposed to end and that of its 
neighbors to begin. Five such Red-Line Maps are still preserved, and 
others may yet be discovered. 2 

I. The Franklin Red-Line Map has an especially interesting history. 
When the conclusion of the Provisional Articles of Peace became 
known, Count Vergennes, then chief of the French Council of Finance, 
sent to Franklin a copy of a map, with the request that he would mark 
the boundaries of the United States upon it. By whom the map was 
made does not appear, nor whether the maker was of English, French 
or other nationality. On the 6th of December, 1782, Franklin returned 
a map after having, as he said, marked on it the limits of the United 
States "with a strong red line." 3 This Red-Line Map, despite its obvious 
importance, was soon lost sight of. About the middle of the 19th 
Century Jared Sparks, having read Franklin's letter to Vergennes, 
had a search made among the map collections of the French Foreign 
Office, and at last found a map of North America by D'Anville, dated 
1746, with a red line upon it, apparently drawn with a hair pencil 
or a pen with a blunt point, and apparently intended to indicate the 
boundaries of the United States. The red line was the only indication 
to justify the inference that this was the map marked by Franklin for 

1 Secretary of State, Hamilton Fish, drew this distinction on February 23, 1877, 
when he wrote to President Grant: "This boundary to be determined was that defined 
in the Second Article of the Convention .... of October 20, 181 8." (Text: Campbell 
and Twining: Reports upon the Survey of the Boundary .... from the Lake of the 
Woods to the Summit of the Rocky Mountains, p. 5) On p. 6, Fish again drew the 

It has taken at least 26 international treaties to secure a national boundary fully 

2 The Franklin, the Jay, the Peel, the English, and the Steuben Red-Line Maps. 

3 Wharton's Depl. Corrs. Amer. Rev. VI, 120. John Bassett Moore: Hist, and Digest 
of International Arbitrations, I, pp. 154-155. 


Vergennes, but Sparks, unconsciously illustrating the principle that 
researchers are always in danger of finding what they are looking for, 
jumped to the conclusion that he had found the lost Red-Line Map, 
which Franklin had marked for Vergennes on December 6, 1782. 
Whether or not he was justified in this conclusion, it is certain that this 
Sparks Red-Line Map followed the British rather than the American 
claim. 4 As Franklin is known to have demanded both Canada and 
Nova Scotia, in his preliminary talks with Sir Richard Oswald before 
his fellow commissioners arrived, one is inclined to doubt the likelihood 
of his having sent Vergennes a map following England's claims. 

II. A second Red-Line Map, signed by John Jay, one of the Com- 
missioners of 1783, was brought to light a year later, in 1843, D Y J a y' s 
son, and is now preserved in the New York Historical Society. It is 
a very large copy of Mitchell's Map of 1 755, and the entire boundary 
of the United States is marked by a clear red line. It also shows a 
boundary line which Jay had proposed in October, 1782, "along the 
middle of the St. John River from its mouth to its source," meant, 
apparently, to show where the northwest angle of Nova Scotia and 
the Highlands mentioned in the treaty actually lay. 5 

"If the map of Mr. Jay .... had been disclosed to the world," 
comments a clipping of later date, but still attached to Jay's statement, 
now in the New York Historical Society, "England would not have 
continued .... to maintain the pretensions to which she adhered 
'till the very moment of the signature of the Treaty of Washington, 
and .... jeopardized the peace of two great nations." Webster and 
Gallatin, according to the same authority, "pronounced the map of 
Mr. Jay the most important and best authenticated document that has 
appeared." 6 

III. In April, 1843, , vvh.ile Albert Gallatin and Daniel Webster were 
discussing the newly acquired Jay Map at a seance at the New York 
Historical Society, Sir Robert Peel was announcing to the House of 
Commons the discovery of a third Red-Line Map, bearing the words: 
"boundary as described by Mr. Oswald." 7 This, John Bassett Moore 

4 Mills: British Diplomacy and Canada, p. 702. 

6 See words of Treaty of 1783, on page 1 1 following. Mr. Gallatin later used Jay's 
Map, if we may trust the clipping attached to Jay's statement in the New York His- 
torical Society, "to prove where the northwest angle of Nova Scotia and the Highlands 
of the treaty were. These it fixes beyond cavil, by showing where the source of the 
St. John .... was, and establishing its position at the source of the Madawaska,ac- 
cording to the course assigned to that river on Mitchell's Map." 

6 Clipping enclosed with Jay's declaration in folder at New York Historical Society, 
dated April 24, 1843. The name of the paper is not given. 

7 The Jay Red-Line Map also has written on it "Mr. Oswald's line." 


has confidently pronounced "the veritable copy of Mitchell's Map, 
used in the negotiations of 1782, with Oswald's line, and also the line 
finally agreed on, marked upon it." Sir Robert Peel, in his discussion 
of this Red-Line Map, if we may trust the testimony of a clipping filed 
with Jay's Map in the New York Historical Society, declared the con- 
viction that the claims then being urged on behalf of America were 
not well-founded, and that he attached little importance to the Frank- 
lin Red-Line Map which Sparks had just discovered. 8 

IV. Lieutenant Colonel Mills in an erudite article, British Diplomacy 
and Canada, 9 distinguishes two additional Red-Line Maps, which he 
calls The English Red-Line Map and Steuben's Copy of Mitchell's 
Map. The first shows the British claim marked in "faint red crayon," 
and was found in the State Paper Office in 1841, 10 listed as the map 
used by Oswald. It was alluded to by Palmerston in a speech of March 
21, 1842, 11 and by Lord Fitzmaurice in his Life of Shelburne, Vol. 
Ill, p. 295 and p. 324. "It is still preserved in the Colonial Office," Col. 
Mills adds, "but shows nothing to prove when its red line was inserted." 
Colonel Mills feels that it was probably in 1814 when a revision of the 
boundary was being considered. 12 

V. Steuben's Copy of Mitchell's Map has a line showing the British 
claim, but the chief interest which it offers lies in the fact that Webster 

8 i. e. In 1842. In the Peel statement, it was declared that on the copy he was 
describing, there were written in four different places the words, "Boundary, as de- 
scribed by Mr. Oswald." The Jay Map, in the New York Historical Society also has 
on it "Mr. Oswald's line." A clipping filed with this Jay Map adds this comment: 
"Sir Robert Peel also fully confirmed what Mr. Webster had said, as to the senti- 
ments of the English people, declaring that he, himself, did not believe that the 
claim of Great Britain was well-founded; nor does he attach any consequence, .... 
to the so-called Franklin Map, though he certainly does justice to Mr. Sparks' research 
in discovering what, notwithstanding all the inquiries of the British Government in 
Paris in 1827, na d eluded their investigations." 

9 United Empire, October, 191 1, Vol. II (New Series) No. 10, p. 700. 

10 Colonel Dudley A. Mills, R. E., in an illuminating article in United Empire of 
October, 191 1, says that on March 27, 1839, a reference was made in a debate in the 
Commons to a copy of Mitchell's Map in the British Museum, which showed the true 
boundary line between Canada and America. "Palmerston," he says, "promised 
inquiry, and had the King's Map (which had been placed in the Museum in 1823) 
removed from the British Museum to the Foreign Office in order to prevent the 

Americans getting hold of it Neither Peel, nor Aberdeen, nor Ashburton knew 

of its existence 'till 1843. In January of that year the Sparks Red-Line Map became 
known to the public. This seems to have caused a search for maps, and, either at 
the end of February, or early in March, Peel, Aberdeen and Ashburton saw, for the 
first time, the King's Map." On February 25, 1843, Aberdeen wrote to Croker: 
"We have found another copy altogether in favor of the American claim." 

11 Fitzmaurice's William, Earl of Shelburn, Vol. Ill, p. 324. 

12 Mills' British Diplomacy and Canada, p. 700. 


used it in 1842, with Sparks' Red-Line Map, to convince the Maine 
Commissioners that it was wise to compromise Maine's claims as pro- 
vided in the Webster-Ashburton Treaty. 

These Red-Line Maps are important chiefly because the red lines 
showed where leaders of the two nations, Great Britain and the United 
States, considered the Canadian boundaries to lie in 1783; and be- 
cause of later disagreements upon that subject which threatened the 
peace established in 1783. But with all the Red-Line Maps, a definition 
of the boundary was not enough. Every mile of it has had to be de- 
termined; and the danger was, from the beginning, that one side or the 
other might seek to make force instead of reason the method of de- 


Nations have marked boundaries, and then fortified them, since 
Romulus and Remus drew the legendary line on the soil, which later 
became the City of Rome, and then forgot brotherly love in a battle 
over it. But only one line of first magnitude has remained, for all its 
history, unmarred by hidden mine or frowning bastion. That is the 
line which separates Canada and the United States. This was not due 
to absence of rival claims; but to the mental attitude of the two peoples, 
the Americans and the subjects of the King of England, who were 
resolved, almost from the first, to settle such matters by reason and 
not by war or threats of war. If each of the many disputes between 
these two nations, America and Great Britain, over questions of the 
territory lying along the Canadian border, had been decided by a 
war, or threat of war made by military establishments, we should 
probably know more about those disputes than we do know: for 
history has always inclined to pay more attention to war than to peace, 
and to employ its machinery of investigation chiefly in explaining why 
wars have come, how they have been conducted, and how the truce 
— for it has seldom been more than a truce — has been arranged. 
"Nothing is settled until it is rightly settled" has been an aphorism of 
philosophers since the days of Plato; and yet, men are only beginning 
to realize that rarely, if ever, have disputes, once submitted to the 
ordeal by combat, been settled justly, adjusted in such a way as to 
leave both parties content permanently to accept the verdict rendered 
by the God of War — if it is not blasphemy to anthropomorphize such 
a force into a personality called God. In the vast majority of cases, 
as in the most recent case called "the war to end war," each so-called 
peace has contained within itself the seeds of new wars, seeds which, 
in time, have sprouted and produced new crops of armed fighting men, 
bent upon securing a different verdict. 



This battle of the Red-Line Maps, however, is only incidental to the 
present volume, which has as its main purpose, not a presentation of 
old material, but the publication, for the first time, of an important 
document respecting the determination of the Canadian boundary line 
between St. Regis, on the St. Lawrence, and the most northwesterly 
point of the Lake of the Woods, almost one-half of the boundary 
separating the United States from Canada. The document in question 
is the Diary of Major Joseph Delafield under whose personal direction, 
as Agent for the United States, most of that long section of the boundary 
line was determined. Delafield wrote also most of the documents which 
give, officially, the history of those surveys, and which are all 13 pre- 
served in the National Archives at Washington. But he was careful to 
make his Diary supplementary, and not a mere repetition of that 
official material. It, therefore, has a human interest, which is lacking 
in the official documents produced by the Commission under the VI 
and VII Articles of the Treaty of Ghent. 14 

The present introduction to the text of Major Delafield's Diary is 
in no sense a history of the long Canadian-American boundary dis- 
putes. Such a history would require not pages but volumes. This in- 
troduction sketches only such portions of that history as are needed for 
an understanding of the value of Major Delafield's work, and the 
interest of his Diary. His work was that of interpreting certain necess- 
arily vague boundary clauses of the Treaty of 1783 into definitely 
determined boundary lines, "upon the ground of reciprocal advantages 
and mutual convenience," to quote the words of that treaty itself. 

13 A few items were missing when the documents were removed from the State 
Department to the new National Archives Building on Pennsylvania Avenue: but 
the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in March, 1932, procured photo- 
stat copies of these items from originals held in Great Britain and presented them to 
the Department of Archives. See National Archives, Folder marked "Northern 
Boundary, Treaty of Ghent, 1814, Article VII," which has the correspondence and 
a list of the items presented. 

14 The manuscript of Major Joseph Delafield's Diary, no part of which has ever 
before been published, was first submitted, for an opinion, to Dr. Philip Ashton 
Rollins, whose well known book — The Discovery of the Oregon Trail — Robert 
Stuart Narratives — had given him high standing among authoritative writers upon 
subjects closely allied to those treated in the Diary. After a detailed, critical study of 
the entire text, Mr. Rollins declared the Diary, in his opinion, of great interest and 
permanent value, and urged that it be carefully edited, annotated and published. 

The editors wish gratefully to acknowledge Dr. Rollin's help, both because of his 
opinion of the Diary in general, which settled the question whether or not it should 
be published, and because of numerous editorial suggestions which have been care- 
fully followed. 


The Diary is written in a small script in twelve thin booklets, each 
measuring about 3%" by 5%". These are bound in plain red leather 
and were evidently carried in Major Delafield's pockets, for the bind- 
ings are worn. The writing, which is in ink, is in good condition, 
considering the exposure and rough usage which these small books 
no doubt at times suffered. The entries must often have been written 
at night by uncertain light either in his tent or even in the open. 

In commenting upon the history of the construction of the Treaty 
of 1783, Andrew Stuart remarks, 15 "the rules to be applied to the con- 
struction of this Treaty are as much more large and liberal than those 
which obtain in the construction of compacts between private indi- 
viduals as the power and dignity of nations, and the interests represented 
by sovereignty, surpass, in kind and in magnitude, any rights or pos- 
sessions which can belong to individuals." "As in private contracts," 
he adds, "if the words of the instrument be clear and unambiguous, 
there is no room for interpretation — the words must be followed." But 
such a contention cannot be accepted without reservation; for the 
history of the hundred and fifty-six years that have passed since this 
landmark treaty of 1 783 was negotiated have made clear the fact that 
even treaties, perfectly clear and unambiguous in their wording, must 
be held subject to interpretation whenever "interpretation," or "re- 
interpretation," will insure greater justice. 

But the words of the Peace of 1 783 were, by no means, "clear and 
unambiguous," 16 especially the clauses dealing with boundaries. Indeed, 
they could not have been so, for, when that treaty was made, the 
borderland between America and Canada was unsurveyed, and the 
maps which professed to picture it were the result of gossip rather than 
science, the makers of them relying upon the general ignorance which 
prevailed, with respect to the countries in question. "All the old maps," 
said Anthony Barclay, 17 one of England's boundary commissioners 

16 Andrew Stuart's Suscinct account of the Treaties and Negotiations between 
Great Britain and the United States of America relating to the boundary between 
the British Possessions of Lower Canada and New Brunswick, in North America, 
and the United States of America. Vol. 1, 1839: without title page, introduction or 
index, McGregor Collection, Alderman Library, University of Virginia. A second 
copy, bound with other short historical treatises and without date or name of the 
author, has been found in the New York Public Library. 

18 Joseph Delafield, in his memorandum of December 11, 1821 (Journal of July 24, 
1822, p. 91), says: "The phraseology of the Treaty of 1783, designating the boundary 
line, is certainly not 'in clear and precise terms.' This fact forms the very basis upon 
which this Commission rests." Major Delafield had great respect for the old maps 
which he held were "more accurate than those of the 19th Century." (Argument of 
October 5, 1826, p. 13. Mss. in National Archives.) 

17 Doc. No. 451. House Docs., Vol. 11, 25 Cong., 2d Sess., pp. 102-113. 


under the Treaty of Ghent, "are denied to be of any avail; they are 
known to have been made in ignorance, and to be replete with errors." 
"All of the maps .... published prior to the surveys of this commis- 
sion," he added, "are grossly erroneous upon the face of them .... 
nor does there appear any reason why the least confidence should be 
reposed in former maps." 

Barclay's account of how such maps had been made is illuminating: 
"the inquisitive traders or clerks, .... with the hope of improving 
their knowledge of the geography of the country, sketched from the 
eye as they proceeded. What could not be seen by them was frequently 
connected in their sketches with what they had seen, by means of the 
narratives of other persons, either white men or Indians, who might 
be inquired of to state what they knew. These sketches found their way 
into map-makers' hands, and were published, with the best puff they 
could invent, to give a little reputation." 

This was literally true, and the Commissioners of 1783 had to rely 
upon such blind guides, map-makers, who worked by faith and not by 
sight. We know, from the positive statements of John Adams and others 
who negotiated the Peace of 1783, for example, that the place names 
used in the treaty, such names as St. Croix River, Lake of the Woods, 
Royal and Phelipeau Islands, etc., some difficult to locate, as was the 
first, some definitely known as was the second, and some non-existent 
as was the fourth, were taken wholly from Mitchell's Map, 18 made in 
1 755, when the geography of the Canadian- American borderline had 
been even less known than it was in 1783. 

Uncertainty, therefore, was the frame of mind in which those states- 
men approached the problems of geography in the Canadian boundary 
disputes. In November, 1782, for example, when the British Cabinet 
was considering a draft Treaty of Peace, this comment was written 
concerning the St. Croix River and its source: "The uncertain source 
of an uncertain river." 19 

Mitchell's Map had been made, by authority of Governor Pownall, 20 

18 In the Convention between the United States and Great Britain, signed in 1827, 
it was agreed that the negotiators of 1783 "regulated their joint and official proceed- 
ings" by Mitchell's Map (Mills' British Diplomacy in Canada, p. 698). There is also 
abundant earlier testimony to prove that fact. 

19 Mills, Lt. Col. Dudley A.: British Diplomacy in Canada, p. 685. 

20 A map of the British and French Dominions in North America, with the roads, 
distances, and extent of the settlements .... by John Mitchell. Authorized by John 
Pownall, Secy, to the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations. London: 
Jefferys and Faden, 1755. Size, if joined: 76 x 52% inches. Scale, 9 miles=i inch. 
Engraved on copper by Thomas Kitchin. Colored by hand. 

A copy of part of the Mitchell Map is accessible in John Bassett Moore's Digest of 


as a war map, chiefly upon the bases of reports from Colonial governors 
as to the boundaries of their respective colonies. Later surveys proved 
that it was incorrect in many respects. For example, it pictures what 
it calls the "R. St. Croix," as running out of Kousaki Lake in a south- 
easterly direction, into the Bay of Fundy, and it pictures "Passama- 
cadie River" 21 as starting almost due south of Kousaki Lake and run- 
ning almost exactly paralleling the St. Croix as it runs also into the Bay 
of Fundy. 22 John Bassett Moore, in a very comprehensive survey of this 
section of Mitchell's Map, 23 says "while Mitchell's Map was correct 
in representing two streams of some magnitude as falling into the body 
of water commonly known as Passamaquoddy, it did not give them their 
true courses or positions, nor was there in the region any river com- 
monly known as the St. Croix. 24 This name originated with the early 
French explorers, 25 from whose charts it was transferred to later maps, 
on which it was given first to one stream and then to another; and in 
all these maps, including that of Mitchell, the topography of the region 
was inaccurate." 

In view of such facts it is fair to say that Lieutenant Colonel Dudley 
A. Mills, R. E. is too severe upon his own country when he speaks 
of "the felonious attempts of 1782-1841," to gain for Canada territory 
which was not hers by right. "Right" and "wrong" are large terms 
to apply to claims in an unsurveyed wilderness; and neither side is 
entitled to "the white gloves," as the following pages will prove. 

International Arbitrations, I, p. 1. 

There are two principal editions, both dated February 13, 1755. In 1775 Jefferys 
and Faden reprinted it (Mills' British Diplomacy in Canada, p. 698). 

21 Passamaquoddy River. 

22 Into what we now call Passamaquoddy Bay. 

23 Moore's Digest of International Arbitrations, I, p. 3. 

24 The St. Croix River was a name originally applied by Sieur de Monts, who, on 
June 24, 1604, had reached St. John River, and passing on along the coast had 
settled a small island in another river, calling his island St. Croix, a name later ex- 
tended to the river itself (Champlain, part I, p. I04etseq. quoted by Stuart, Treaties 
and Negotiations, p. 10). 

26 In 1 749 the Marquis De La Gallissoniere, as Governor-General of New France, 
had sent a French Colony to Detroit and established a garrison there. He had after- 
wards caused the building of other forts, at Baie des Puans, des Scioux, de Toronto, 
and on the River de la Presentation, and had reinforced forts at Frontenac and at 
Niagara. Clearly, France was preparing to make the Canadian-American boundary 
line a series of fortresses (Ibid. p. 4). Gallissoniere's avowed purpose was to make the 
Ohio River, then called La Belle Riviere, a boundary of his French Canada (Stuart, 
p. 25) and later, in 1753, Marquis DuQuesne built several forts there (Ibid. p. 26). If 
France had succeeded in holding Canada, it seems clear that its boundary would 
have been, like all other great boundaries, a series of fortifications. Twenty-four 
millions of livres were actually drawn for that purpose before the taking of Quebec 
in September, 1759 (Ibid. p. 27). 


The heart of the long contest over the Canadian boundary was not 
the ethical character of the Treaty of 1 783, but concerning its real mean- 
ing, the proper location of the boundaries, which it only indicated. 

The Commissioners of 1783, in wording their treaty, were, of course, 
conscious of the fact that the boundary line, which they verbally 
indicated, and which the various Red-Line Maps graphically indicated, 
would later have to be determined, but they described the line, as 
definitely as possible, in these words: 

"From the northwest angle of Nova Scotia, viz., from the angle which is 
formed by a line, drawn due north from the Source of the St. Croix River to 
the Highlands; along the said Highlands which divide those rivers that empty 
themselves into the River St. Lawrence, from those which fall into the Atlantic 
Ocean, to the north westernmost head of the Connecticut River; thence down 
along the middle 28 of that river," to the forty-fifth degree of north latitude; 
from thence by a line due west on said latitude until it strikes the river Iroquois 
or Cataraguy; thence along the middle of said river into Lake Ontario, through 
the middle of said lake until it strikes the communication by water between 
that lake and Lake Erie; thence along the middle of said communication into 
Lake Erie, through the middle of said lake until it arrives at the water com- 
munication between that lake and Lake Huron; thence along the middle of 
said water communication into the Lake Huron; thence through the middle of 
said lake to the water communication between that lake and Lake Superior; 
thence through Lake Superior northward of the Isles Royale and Phelipeau, 27 

26 The term "middle" proved difficult to interpret in actual surveys. General 
Porter, in his report of December 12, 1827 (House Documents, Vol. 11, 25 Cong., 
2nd sess; Doc. 451, pp. 4 and 5), explains its difficulty, illustrating it by an outline 
map. Barclay, in his report of October 25, 1827 (Ibid. p. 66), insists, after quoting 
Vattel, that "the true and only reasonable interpretation is this, the terms, used in 
reference to lakes, can apply only to the equi-distant line between the shores, for 
they cannot be said to have channels." 

27 Barclay in his report (Doc. No. 451, House Docs., Vol. II, 25th Cong., 2nd Sess., 
p. 100), declares, after careful investigation, "there were never any islands in Lake 
Superior known as the Isles Phelepeaux, and .... there are no such islands as are 
represented by that name on the maps." He charged the American Agent with trying 
to make it appear that the Isle Pate, and others in the same bay, were what the 
Commissioners of 1783 (Art. II) had meant by Isles Phelipeaux, because if that 
could be established, "the line by the Kamanistequa River would be tolerably well 
secured for the United States, since those islands are so near to the mouth of the 
Kamanistequa River, and to the northwest shore of the lake, as scarcely to leave a 
doubt, after the line shall have been conducted to the north of them, that it should 
terminate its lake route in this bay by entering the Kamanestequa River." Barclay 
claims, (report, 100) that Delafield had himself declared that "the experience of all 
persons attached to the Commission will satisfy the board that no islands of this name 
(Phelipeaux) are now known to the oldest voyageurs and traders." He insisted that 
the "isles Phelipeaux had some definite place in the minds of the negotiators of the 
treaty of 1783," for, otherwise, they would not have mentioned them (Ibid. p. 101). 


to the Long Lake; thence through the middle of said Long Lake 28 and the 
water communication between it and the Lake of the Woods, to the said Lake 
of the Woods; thence through the said lake to the most northwestern point 
thereof, and from thence on a due west course to the River Mississippi 29 " 

A glance at any modern map based on actual surveys will show, 
that by moving due west from the most northwestern point of the Lake 
of the Woods a line would never reach the Mississippi River: and a 
careful comparison of the words just quoted from the Treaty of 1 783, 
with maps representing ascertained geographical facts, will make it 
clear that those words raised problems which they failed to solve, for 
every section of the Canadian border. 

Major Delafield's Diary has definite relationship to such problems 
only in the section from St. Regis to the Lake of the Woods, but his 
work cannot be properly understood without some knowledge of the 
problems of every section. For the sake of clearness, therefore, it seems 
best to divide the whole Canadian boundary into four sections; and 
discuss the problems of each in turn: 

I. From the mouth of the St. Croix River, north and west to St. 
Regis, the point where the contemplated boundary line touches the 
St. Lawrence River. It was at this latter point that Major Delafield's 
connection with Canadian boundary problems began. 

A part of the problems belonging to this section was the division of 
the islands in Passamaquoddy Bay, but this does not concern us, either 
directly or indirectly. 30 

II. From St. Regis to the northwesternmost point of the Lake of the 

28 "Long Lake" was later identified with what we now call Pigeon Bay. (Jas. 
White, Boundary Disputes and Treaties; Reprint from Canada and its Provinces, 
edited by Adam Shortt and A. G. Doughty, Glasgow Books & Co., Toronto, 1914, 

p. 837.) 

29 Here Mitchell's Map was in error, for a line due west from the Lake of the Woods 
could never intersect the Mississippi, whose source is south of the Lake of the Woods. 
(Jas. White's Boundary Disputes and Treaties, pp. 837 and 839. One contemporary 
map comments by an inscription: "The Mississippi River unknown in these parts.") 

30 The question of ownership of the islands in Passamaquoddy Bay and the Bay 
of Fundy was left for later settlement. In 1801, Rufus King, then Minister at London, 
was instructed by Mr. Madison to adjust all unsettled boundaries by treaty with 
England, and was to secure "the jurisdiction of the Moose Island and the common 
navigation of the Bay and of the channels leading towards the sea, between Deer 
Island and the Island of Campobello." He made a treaty with Lord Hawkesbury in 
1803, but it was not ratified (details in a History of the Negotiations of the Eastern 
and Northeastern Boundaries of the United States, p. 8). It was 181 7 before the 
Commissioners, John Holmes for America and Thomas Barclay for England, reached 
the final decision by which they gave Moose Island, on which Eastport now stands, 
Dudley Island, and Frederick Island in Passamaquoddy Bay, to the United States, 
and all other islands, including Grand Menan, to Great Britain. 


Woods, the section determined chiefly under Major Delafield's direc- 
tion, and concerning which his Diary was written. 

III. From the most northwestern point of the Lake of the Woods to 
the 49th parallel and westward to the Rocky Mountains. Here the 
fixing of the most northwestern point of the Lake of the Woods meant 
the determination of the point at which the boundary line would 
strike the 49th parallel. 

IV. From the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, a section 
with which Major Delafield had no connection, but which must be 
briefly considered for the sake of completeness. 


The first contest over the American-Canadian boundary began in 
the very region where the negotiators of 1783 would naturally be 
supposed to have had most precise knowledge of geography, and most 
pressing interest, the far east. "A good frontier," as Walter Lippmann 
has said, "is one which is not felt to be very important." But this 
frontier, from the first, was felt to be "very important," and prompt 
measures were taken to make it definite. As soon as the Treaty of 1 783 
was signed, therefore, plans were made for determining the identity of 
the St. Croix River, one of the landmarks designated in the treaty, 
which declared that the boundary should start "from the northwest 
angle of Nova Scotia, viz., that angle which is formed by a line drawn 
due north from the source of the St. Croix River to the Highlands." 31 

The Jesuits' habit of erecting a cross at the mouth of the rivers which 
they visited had caused many rivers to receive the name St. Croix, 
and there were not less than three emptying into Passamaquoddy Bay, 
namely the Schoodiac, the Magaguadawic, and the Cobscook, all 
known, at one time or another, as the "St. Croix." 32 In 1784, part of 
Nova Scotia next to the United States was made into the Province of 

An excellent map picturing these Passamaquoddy Islands, and showing the Ameri- 
can and the British claims of 18 14, with Moose Island, Dudley Island and Frederick 
Island on the British side of the line of boundary appears in the appendix of a very 
rare pamphlet, A Compressed View of the Points to be Discussed in treating with 
the United States of America: With an appendix and two maps by Nathaniel 
Atcheson. A copy is in the Wm. Prescott Collection, Widener Library, Harvard. 
It was issued in London. Printed from J. M. Richardson, Cornhill, by T. Davison, 
Whitefriars, 1814. 

31 Peace of 1783, Arts. I and II. 

32 According to Indian testimony, not alone the Magaguadawic and the Schoodiac, 
but the Cobscook had, at times, been known as the St. Croix. The Cobscook is a 
salt-water inlet of Passamaquoddy Bay, called in 1 765 the St. Croix (History of the 
Negotiations in reference to Eastern and Northeastern boundaries, p. 6, and note). 


New Brunswick. Settlements were made by the King's subjects at St. 
Andrews and on the Schoodiac River, believed by them to be the 
St. Croix of the treaty, and the intended boundary. The Americans 
soon replied that the river Magaguadawic 33 was the river called St. 
Croix in that treaty. Clearly a contest was brewing, and, in the hope 
of avoiding it, John Jay suggested, on April 21, 1785, 34 that Commis- 
sioners be agreed upon to settle this and similar differences; but 
nothing came of the suggestion, save, perhaps, the plan to garrison 
exposed places in the areas claimed by the Americans, and an appeal 
to France to interpose under the guaranty clauses of the Treaty of 1 778. 
Evidently in approval of Jay's suggestion, and fearful of an armament 
race on the Canadian frontiers, Washington, on February 9, 1790, 
reported to the Senate that, in his opinion, all such questions should be 
settled promptly and amicably. 35 It was, however, 1794 before Jay 
concluded his famous treaty, providing, for the first time, a joint Com- 
mission to settle boundary disputes respecting Canada. 36 As "doubts 
have arisen," says the Fifth Article, "what river was truly intended 
under the name of the River of St. Croix, mentioned in the said treaty 
of peace, and forming a part of the boundary therein described, that 
question should be referred to the final decision of Commissioners to 
be appointed in the following manner, viz: 

"One Commissioner shall be named by His Majesty, and one by the 
President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of 
the Senate thereof. And the said two Commissioners shall agree on the 
choice of a third: or if they cannot so agree, they shall each propose one 
person, and of the two names so proposed one shall be drawn by lot in 
the presence of the two original Commissioners. And the three Com- 
missioners so appointed shall be sworn impartially to examine and 
decide the said question, according to such evidence as shall respec- 
tively be laid before them, on the part of the British Government and 
of the United States. The said Commissioners shall meet at Halifax, 
and shall have power to adjourn to such other place as they shall 
think fit. They shall have power to appoint a Secretary, and to employ 
such surveyors or other persons as they shall judge necessary. The 
said Commissioners shall, by a declaration under their hands and seals, 

33 (Stuart's Treaties and Negotiations, p. 45.) Magaguadawic is the spelling in the 
History of the Negotiations in reference to Eastern and Northeastern Boundaries, p. 
68, Map. The space between the Schoodiac and the Magaguadawic was considerable 
in extent, but made more important by settlements of refugees from the States, St. 
Andrews having been built immediately after the Revolution. 

34 Mss. in Department of State, quoted in Moore's International Arbitration, I, p. 5. 

35 American State Papers, Foreign Relations I, pp. 90-91. 

36 Jay's Treaty, Art., V; Text, Senate Docs., Vol. 47. 61 Congress; 2nd Sess., p. 593. 


decide what river is the river St. Croix intended by the treaty. The 
said declaration shall contain a description of the said river, and shall 
particularize the latitude and longitude of its mouth and of its source. 
Duplicates of this declaration, and of the statements of their accounts, 
and the journal of their proceedings, shall be delivered by them to the 
Agent of His Majesty, and to the Agent of the United States, who may 
be respectively appointed and authorized to manage the business on 
behalf of the respective governments; and both parties agree to con- 
sider such decision as final and conclusive, so as that the same shall 
never thereafter be called into question, or made the subject of dispute 
or difference between them." In this paragraph we have the model 
Commission, and the model was used, again and again, as the ra- 
tionalization of the boundary proceeded. 

In constituting this Commission, President John Adams first named 
General Knox, who had been Washington's Secretary of War; but he 
declared himself unable to serve because of a definite, personal in- 
terest in the question at issue. David Howell, of Rhode Island, was 
then named and he accepted. England chose Thomas Barclay of Nova 
Scotia; and the two agreed upon Egbert Benson, of New York as the 
third. All three had been trained for the law; and they met as friends. 

The task of identifying the St. Croix was not easy, 37 as it involved 
a careful study of the terrain, of early records, both French and 
English, and, of course, the opinions of living men who had been con- 
cerned with the making of the Peace of 1783. Still living were John 
Adams, who became President while the Commission was organizing, 
and John Jay, formerly Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and now 
Governor of New York, and their opinions were sought. In May, 1 798, 
President Adams was asked by J. A. Sullivan, American Agent of the 
Commission, to state his views. The questions put to him have been 
preserved in the following document: 38 

"The Agent for the United States has the honor to propose, that the 
Honorable Board will, in such manner as to the Commissioners shall 
appear proper and suitable, receive from John Adams, the President 
of the United States of America, his knowledge as to certain facts 
which are within his recollection, and which took place in the forming 
of the Treaty of Peace in 1782, and the truth of which facts may be 
expressed in answers to the following interrogatories, viz: 

87 This question was set them: "What river was truly intended under the name of 
the river Saint Croix mentioned in the treaty of peace? . . . ." (Text of the Declara- 
tion of the Commissioners, signed October 25, 1798, Hunter Martin's Treaties and 
other International Acts, etc., Vol. II, p. 430.) 

88 Mss. in New York Historical Society. 


What maps, charts and documents of State were before the Commissioners 
at Paris in 1782, when the Second Article of the Treaty of Peace was agreed 
upon and formed? 

By whom were such maps, charts and documents produced? 

Were there any lines marked on any map by the Commissioners at that 
time and, if there were, on what map were the same marked and by whom 
was the map produced? 

Is the map now before you called Mitchell's Map the one on which those 
lines were marked, and are the lines on that Map those which were then 

Was there any act of Parliament respecting the Boundaries of the late 
Province of Massachusetts Bay, produced or mentioned by the British Minister 
on that occasion? 

Was the former eastern boundary of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, 
then conceived of as the line on which the boundary of the United States was 
fixed, so far as the side line? 

The Agent for the United States further proposes that the evidence of 
His Excellency, John Jay, Esq. may be taken as to the same facts. 

J. A. Sullivan." 

From this last paragraph it appears certain that Jay was asked the 
questions which had before been put to President Adams. 39 Adams' 
replies have not been found, though his views were later recorded by 
Major Joseph Delafield, author of the present Diary. 40 Jay's replies 
are preserved in Mss. in the New York Historical Society, and are as 
follows: "The answers of John Jay who was one of the Commissioners 
by whom the treaty of peace between Great Britain and the United 
States was negotiated, to the interrogatories put to him at the instance 

39 The questions asked Adams by J. A. Sullivan, American Agent under the Fifth 
Article of Jay's Treaty, were at first mislaid, but on May 4, 1 798, Sullivan sent a 
copy of them to Jay, now Governor of New York, with the following note of ex- 

"Boston, 4th May 1798 

I had the honor on the second instant to address a letter to your Excellency 
on the subject of your testimony regarding the Eastern boundary of the 
United States. I therein intimated that I had not the interrogations pro- 
posed to the President; having since found them I now enclose them. 

And am with great respect 

Your Excellency's Most 
humble Sert. 
J. A. Sullivan." 

40 Reproduced in facsimile facing p. 88 of the present volume is John Adams' letter 
to Joseph Delafield. 


Tax, J c a. 2, x 



of the Agent on the part of the United States, by the Board of Com- 
missioners for ascertaining the river St. Croix, intended in and by the 
said treaty: 

"The said John Jay having been duly sworn answers and says — 
That in the course of the said negotiations, difficulties arose respecting 
the eastern extent of the United States — That Mitchell's Map was 
before them and was frequently consulted for geographical informa- 
tion. That on settling the eastern boundary line described in the treaty, 
and of which the river St. Croix forms a part, it became a question 
which of the rivers in those parts was the true river St. Croix; it being 
said that several of them had had that name — That they did finally 
agree that the river St. Croix laid down on Mitchell's Map was the 
river St. Croix which ought to form a part of the said boundary line, 
but whether that river was then so decidedly and permanently adopted 
and agreed upon by the parties as conclusively to bind the two nations 
to that line, even in case it should afterwards appear that Mitchell 
had been mistaken, and that the true river St. Croix was a different 
one from that which is delineated by that name on his map, is a ques- 
tion or case which he does not recollect nor believe was then put or 
talked of. By whom in particular that map was then produced, and what 
other maps, charts and documents of state were then before the Com- 
missioners at Paris, and whether the British Commissioner then pro- 
duced or mentioned an act of Parliament respecting the boundaries 
of Massachusetts are circumstances which his recollection does not 

enable him to ascertain . It seems to him that certain lines 

were marked on the copy of Mitchell's Map which was before them 
at Paris: but whether the map mentioned in the interrogatory, as now 
produced, is that copy, or whether the lines said to appear on it are 
the same lines he cannot, without inspecting and examining it, under- 
take to judge. 

"To the last interrogatory he answers That for his own part 

he was of opinion that the eastern boundaries of the United States 
ought on principle of right and justice to be the same with the easterly 

boundaries of the late Colony or Province of Massachusetts 

Altho' much was said and reasoned on the subject, yet he does not at 
this distance of time remember any particular and explicit declarations 
of the parties to each other which would authorize him to say that the 
part of the said line (described in the treaty), which is formed by the 
river St. Croix, was mutually and clearly conceived and admitted to 

be also a part of the eastern boundary line of Massachusetts. He 

doubts there having then been very clear conceptions relative to the 
just and precise easterly extent of Massachusetts: for he has reason to 
believe that respectable opinions in America at that time considered 


the river St. John as the proper eastern limit of the United States. 

John Jay 
Sworn this 21st 
May, 1798 
before me 

Egbt Benson." 

Upon the basis of this and other carefully collected evidence, the 
Commission, in 1798, decided that the Schoodiac was the St. Croix 41 
intended by the Commissioners of 1783, the basis of the decision being 
that the island of St. Croix, described by early French writers, as the 
place where De Monts' first settlement had been established, lay op- 
posite its mouth. 

This was a victory for the British: but it by no means settled the 
St. Croix dispute, as the Schoodiac (St. Croix) branches at some dis- 

41 The St. Croix River is a name which originated with a French explorer from 
whose charts it was later transferred to maps; but it was one stream on one chart and 
another on other charts. In all these maps including Mitchell's there was little accurate 
detail. Of the two which Mitchell shows as flowing into the Bay of Fundy, the easterly 
one was known in 1782, twenty-seven years after Mitchell's Map was published, as 
Maguadavic, and the westerly as Schoodiac, Scoudiac or Schoodic. On Mitchell's 
Map of 1 755 they appear respectively as St. Croix and Passamacadie (Moore's Digest 
of Intl. Arbitrations, I, pp. 1 and 3). The original American Commissioner, Howell, 
had insisted that the Maguadavic was the river referred to as St. Croix in the Treaty 
of 1 783, and the discussion was continued until the autumn of 1 798, when Benson, as 
umpire, settled it by deciding that the Schoodic was the river "truly intended by that 
name (St. Croix) in the Treaty of 1783," and its western branch was the main river. 
Accordingly the boundary stone, indicating the point of departure for the line was 
erected at the headwaters of the most westerly source of the Schoodic (Stuart: 
Treaties and Negotiations, p. 47) . 

But when lines were run from the alleged sources of these two streams, due north, 
they brought into dispute 7 or 8 thousand square miles of territory (Moore's Digest 
of International Arbitrations, I, p. 4). Throughout this discussion the American Com- 
missioner Howell insisted that the Maguadavic was the St. Croix truly intended by 
the Treaty of 1783. The British Commissioner, Barclay equally insisted that it was 
the Schoodic River. The umpire, also American, in the end supported the British 
and the Schoodic was named as the St. Croix, and its western branch as the true 
and main river. A stone should have been erected at the westernmost source of the 
Schoodic, but this was not done: but the point of departure was instead fixed at the 
highest waters of the Cheputnaticook. "It is from this fatal source that all the difficul- 
ties which for the last 35 years have embarrassed the settlement of this most important 
question have arisen," comments Stuart (Treaties and Negotiations, p. 47). "It is this, 
and not any ambiguity in the Treaty of 1783," he adds, "which has protracted for 
so many years, and still keeps unsettled (written July 14, 1838), a negotiation which, 
if the point of departure had been properly placed at the highest headwaters of the 
westernmost source of the Schoodic, either would not have been at all necessary, 
or must have been settled in six months." 


tance from its mouth, and the Commission was next called upon to 
determine which of these branches was intended by the treaty to be 
followed to the source of the St. Croix. This decision was important 
by virtue of a provision of the Treaty of 1783, that the boundary line 
should be drawn "due north from the source of the St. Croix River to 
the Highlands." Just where that "Highlands" really lay, was, as the 
American Agent pointed out, a question, which lay "on the wing of 
imagination," and would probably remain unsettled until the coming 
of another generation. The Commission, however, took first things 
first and attacked the problem of locating the source of the St. Croix. 
The American Commissioner, Howell, contended that the northerly 
branch, the Chiputnaticook, should be followed to the source of the 
St. Croix. Benson, the third member and the umpire, was inclined to 
the outlet of the Schoodiac Lakes as the "source " intended, but he 
finally joined with Barclay in accepting Howell's contention, thus 
giving the Americans the decision. After carefully marking the source 
of the St. Croix (the Chiputnaticook) by means of a stake hooped with 
iron, the Commission presented an unanimous report, on October 25, 
1 798 and its work, which had consumed two and a half years, was 
ended. This agreement, when duly ratified by both nations, was to be 
"added to and made a part of the Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and 
Navigation," known as Jay's Treaty. 

There remained, in what we call Section I, the task of running the 
boundary due north to the Highlands, along the said Highlands to the 
northwesternmost head of the Connecticut River; thence down along 
that river to the forty-fifth degree of north latitude, and thence "due 
west on said latitude until it strikes the river Iroquois or Cataraguy" 
as the Treaty of Ghent provided. 42 But, before the Government had 
made arrangements for this work, Napoleon's sudden decision to sell 
Louisiana to the United States transferred the immediate attention of 
the two governments, America and England, to the west, and the 
question of the boundary line in the third section, Lake of the Woods 
to the Rocky Mountains, became the center of interest. 43 

42 The Iroquois or Cataraguy is now called St. Lawrence. 

43 Robert R. Livingston, who managed the purchase of Louisiana, is one of the 
few great Americans still lacking a biographer. Of his greatness there can be no 
question, whether character, ability or public service is taken as the test. He served 
upon the famous committee of five that drew up the Declaration of Independence. 
Later, as Chancellor of New York, he administered the oath of office to Washington. 
When his old friend, Jefferson, became President, Livingston was selected by him as 
Minister to France, and promptly sought to purchase New Orleans and West Florida. 
Suddenly, on April n, 1803, Talleyrand suggested selling the whole of Louisiana. 
Before the actual purchase was concluded, James Monroe joined Livingston as 


The boundaries of Louisiana were quite unknown, and when asked 
to define them Marbois answered, "You get all that France had by 
Ildefonso; it is a great bargain." At $15,000,000 it was a "great barg- 
ain," but one resembling the purchase of a pig in a poke. No one 
knew its boundaries, and when Marbois called Napoleon's attention to 
that fact, he replied that if there were not boundary uncertainties it 
would, perhaps, be wise to put some into the treaty. 44 Clearly, he 
thought that boundary difficulties might cause trouble between Eng- 
land and America and help to put the United States upon his side of 
the great contest, now clearly coming. 45 

Even under such difficulties, however, Jefferson and the American 
people generally agreed with Marbois that they had a great bargain: 
and, despite his strict constructionist views, Jefferson assumed the 
right to make the purchase, and the people countenanced his usurpa- 
tion. 46 

At once the wildest rumors began to circulate concerning the new 
purchase. From these President Jefferson constructed and sent to Con- 
gress the most fantastic message in American history, 47 and one which 
the opposing Federalists quite properly "ridiculed." 

Jefferson had long cherished a plan for the exploration of a route 

Special Envoy, and the two agreed to make the astonishing purchase. The formal 
negotiations with Barbe-Marbois were, however, left to Livingston. 

44 "Si l'obscurite n'y etait pas, il serait peut-etre d'une bonne politique de l'y 
mettre" (Barbe-Marbois, Histoire de la Louisiane, pp. 31 1-3 12). 

46 While discussing his Louisiana plans with Talleyrand, Napoleon made a remark, 
illustrative of the methods of dictators: "My designs on the Mississippi will never be 
officially announced, till they are executed. Meanwhile the world, if it pleases, may 
fear and suspect, but nobody will be wise enough to go to war to prevent them. I 
shall trust to the folly of England and America to let me go my own way in my own 

In quoting this striking paragraph, Simon M'Gillivray, in his pamphlet, On the 
Origin and Progress of the Northwest Company of Canada, (London, Cox, Son and 
Baylis, 181 1), pp. 23-25, says: "It must not excite surprise should the French Govern- 
ment resume possession of Louisiana; for there is reason to believe it was not sold to 
the United States but only hypothecated." Clearly, M'Gillivray believed that Na- 
poleon had intended to place Louisiana only temporarily in American hands. His 
plans, however, failed to be "executed," He ended his career at St. Helena, and 
Louisiana remained American. 

46 Simon M'Gillivray, in his Origin and Progress of the Northwest Company of 
Canada, p. 20, complains: "After the acquisition of Louisiana by the United States, 
all intercourse to the west of the Mississippi was prohibited to all persons who would 
not abjure their allegiance, and become citizens of the United States." As the North- 
west Company planned, to quote M'Gillivray p. 30, "to form upon the great river 
Columbia .... a general establishment for the trade of the adjacent country," such 
a belief, true or false, tended to embitter relations between England and America. 

47 McMaster, II, p. 631, gives a graphic description of the message and its reception. 


overland to the Pacific, and had discussed it with Meriwether Lewis. 
Indeed, on June 30, 1803, he had sent Lewis definite instructions for 
a contemplated expedition. Now, under the added importance which 
the Louisiana purchase furnished, he allowed Lewis to select a com- 
panion to help with the explorations, and Lewis selected William 
Clark, of Louisville. The details of the resulting Lewis and Clark 
Expedition do not concern us here: but its report, made toward the 
end of 1 806, served to emphasize the value of the vast area toward the 
Columbia River, without determining its boundaries. 

In the same year, 1806, Monroe and Pinckney, for America, met 
Lords Holland and Auckland, of Great Britain, in London, to discuss 
again the old questions of the Canadian boundaries. Western as well 
as Eastern boundaries, of course, came up for consideration, and 
England proposed a line running along the forty-ninth parallel from 
the Lake of the Woods to the Rocky Mountains: but Monroe and Pinck- 
ney were of the opinion that the 49th parallel would not touch the 
Lake of the Woods. 48 They suggested instead a line from the north- 
western point of that lake, running due north or south, as the facts 
should determine, until the forty-ninth parallel should be reached, 
and from the point of contact due west to the mountains. This not 
meeting with British approval, Monroe suggested that the words, 
"Stony Mountains" be omitted, and a clause inserted, "as far as the 
respective territories of the parties extend in that quarter." In the end 
a treaty was agreed upon, but Jefferson refused even to submit it to the 
Senate, because it contained no provision concerning impressment or 
indemnity for spoliations on American Commerce, which were then 
the dominant issues. The War of 181 2 soon caused the questions of 
boundary to be laid aside 49 in favor of more pressing issues. 

48 James White, in his Boundary Disputes, p. 841, calls attention to the fact 
that "this proposal was an official acknowledgement by Great Britain that, by the 
Treaty of Utrecht, the 49th parallel formed the boundary between the Hudsons 
Bay Company's territory and Louisiana." Simon M'Gillivray, in his Notice respect- 
ing the boundaries between His Majesty's Possessions in North America and the 
United States (London, B. M'Millan, 181 7), pp. 4-5, says of this Monroe-Holland 
negotiation: "The writer .... having at the time in his possession an original survey 
of the country between the Lake of the Woods and the source of this Mississippi, made 
by Mr. Thompson, geographer to the Northwest Company, was called upon to pro- 
duce the same, and had opportunities of hearing some of the discussions " 

He assured the negotiators that "a line from the Lake of the Woods to the source 
of the Mississippi would run about SSW, while a line running due west would of 
course never intersect the Mississippi." 

49 Boundary questions were not again resumed until the Treaty of Ghent began to 
be negotiated (61st Cong., 2d Sess., 1909-1910, Senate Docs., Vol. 47, pp. 614-618). 
Articles IV, V, VI, and VII of that treaty required elucidation and Commissioners 


When that war opened, John Jacob Astor was starting his fur Com- 
pany's establishment at Astoria, and had made good progress. Rumors 
soon came that a British sloop of war, the Raccoon, was in the Columbia 
River, and Astor decided to sell his establishment to the Northwest 
Company for $40,000 in Montreal notes, 50 a fact which was appar- 
ently unknown to the Commissioners when they met at Ghent to 
negotiate the Peace of 1814. 51 It soon became known in America, 
however, and was regarded as a sale under duress. There was an in- 

were appointed for each. The "declarations of the Commissioners under Art. IV," 
dated Nov. 24, 181 7, appear in the above vol. on pp. 619-620, signed J. Holmes 
and Theo. Barclay. But the decision touches only the islands off the east coast of 
North America. 

60 The great depot of the Northwest Company was "at the Great Carrying-place, 
on the boder of Lake Superior, a few miles west of the mouth of the Pigeon River in 
Lake Superior." (Doc. No. 451, House Docs. Vol. 11, 25th Cong. 2nd Sess. pp. 126, 
129, 131 ) "From a strong belief, founded on the assertions of the United States 
officers at the garrison of Michilmackinac, .... that the above depot was within 
the limits of the United States, and they would levy heavy duties on all merchandise, 
stores, etc., imported thereto, and on all furs, etc., exported therefrom, .... the said 
Company was obliged to examine the countries to the northward and eastward of 
the said Great Carrying-place, for another route to the interior countries" (Ibid. .126). 
The experiences of Jean Baptiste Pomainville, who searched for a route from Lac 
La Pluie to the mouth of the Dog River, in Lake Superior, called Kamanistegua, of 
Sir Alexander Mackenzie, to the northeast of Pigeon River, of William McGillivray, 
from Kamanistegua (by the Dog River) to Lac La Croix, and others, are recorded in 
a series of depositions by these men, in Appendix H. House Docs. Vol. 11, 25th Cong., 
2nd Sess., pp. 126-131. They all failed to find any practicable route save the "old 
route by the Great Carrying-place." Pomainville, in his deposition, says that the 
Company did transfer its depot from the Great Carrying-place, to Kamanistegua, 
on account of duties threatened to be levied by officers of the United States. MacGillis, 
in his deposition, declares that the new route thus made necessary was more dangerous, 
of greater length, and more laborious than that by the Great Carrying-place, Pigeon 
River, and Lac La Croix (Ibid. p. 129), and Cameron's deposition confirms this view 
(Ibid. p. 130), as does McGillivray's (Ibid. p. 131). The change of routes therefore seems 
an acknowledgement that the old route by the Great Carrying-place was American. 
51 During the Ghent negotiations, Great Britain suggested a revision of the boundary 
line, her Commissioners being directed to try for a line extending westward from the 
St. Croix monument, "along the high ridge of mountains and running a westerly 
course until they abut upon the heights which form the present boundary," as Lord 
Bathurst expressed it (Bathurst to the Commissioners, Oct. 18, 1814, quoted, Mills, 
D.A., British Diplomacy in Canada, p. 686) .This would manifestly have meant a large 
loss of territory claimed by America: and the Duke of Wellington rejected the suggest- 
ion with the words, "I think you have no right, from the state of war, to demand any 
concession of territory from America." (Wellington to Lord Liverpool, November 9, 
181 4, Ibid. p. 686, and in Adams' Gallatin, pp. 538-539). The claims of the two Com- 
missions appointed under Art. V. of the Treaty of Ghent were so divergent that sep- 
arate reports were signed, the nature of which appear on a sketch on p. 687 of Dudley A. 
Mills' British Diplomacy in Canada. Mills concludes "the British claim had no found- 
ation of any sort or kind" (Ibid. p. 687). 


dignant clamor for its return, and, in July, 18 15, President Madison 
served notice upon the British Charge that America would send a 
vessel to take back Astoria. 52 It was, however, over two years before 
the Ontario actually sailed from New York, October, 181 7, with her 
course planned around Cape Horn. Her departure drew from Mr. 
Charles Bagot (British Minister at Washington) the statement that 
England considered the Columbia River and the regions adjacent, 
"His Majesty's dominions." 53 But His Majesty's Government did not 
support this claim, so redolent of renewed ill feeling, and, on October 
6, 18 1 8, Astoria was peacefully restored to American Commissioners. 54 

Peace with England had been made and maintained: but it took 
years to soften the hatred with which each nation regarded the other, 
and that fact made the more remarkable the next two developments, 
known as the Rush-Bagot Agreement for disarmament on the lakes, and 
the Convention of 1 8 1 8, with reference to the boundary from the Lake 
of the Woods to the Rocky Mountains. 

The Rush-Bagot Agreement was the result of an evolution, begin- 
ning certainly as far back as 1 794. As early as May 6, 1 794, Randolph, 
then Secretary of State, had suggested to Jay, just starting on his 
precarious mission in England, "in peace no troops to be kept within 
a limited distance of the lakes." 55 Although no record is known proving 
that Jay actually urged such a policy while negotiating his treaty, 
both the American and the British Governments had continued to 
plan in that direction: and we know that Lord Castlereagh himself, in 
a draft of instructions to the British Commissioners of Ghent, not used 
but significant of his attitude at the time, had said, 56 "In order to 
put an end to the jealousies which may arise by the construction of 

62 "Was it understood distinctly at Ghent," wrote Madison to Gallatin, on Sep- 
tember 11, 181 5, from Montpelier, "that the restoration of the mouth of the Columbia 
River was included in the general articles, and is it possible that orders have been 
sent thither from G. B. (Great Britain) to that effect?" (Text: Gallatin's Papers in 
N. Y. Historical Society.) 

63 McMaster, IV, p. 473. 

64 The Treaty of Ghent provided for the status quo ante bellum, which, of course, 
meant that Astoria should be returned to the Americans (Thos. A. Bailey's Diplo- 
matic History of the American People, p. 228, note). The Treaty of Ghent provided 
that in case of differences between the Commissioners arbitration should be employed 
to adjust them. But it was September 29, 1827 before a Convention was signed, 
arranging for such arbitration. The Treaty of Ghent, furthermore, marked the end 
of any disposition to treat America as less than sovereign: and England has since 
ceased to consider her foreign. 

86 Quoted, Callahan, J. M: The Neutrality of the American Lakes, p. 60. 
66 America, in Public Record Office, London, vol. 128. Quoted, Callahan, p. 61, who 
says, "This unused draft is not dated, but was probably written in July, 1814." 


ships of war on the lakes, it should be proposed that the two contract- 
ing parties .... reciprocally bind themselves not to construct any ships 
of war on any of the lakes; and should entirely dismantle those which 
are now in commission, or are preparing for service." Again the 
beneficent idea was stated, only to be discarded: and Castlereagh had 
actually instructed the Commissioners, on August 14, 1814, 57 to declare 
"that the views of the British Government are strictly defensive," so 
far as the Canadian frontier was concerned. "They consider the course 
of the lakes, from Lake Ontario to Lake Superior," he added, ". . . . the 
natural military frontier of the British possessions in North America." 
Clearly, Castlereagh thought he foresaw a period of unfriendliness, and 
wished to insure ample, and more than ample provision for the defense 
of England's remaining American possessions. 

In carrying out these instructions, the British Commissioners at 
Ghent brought the negotiations to what seemed almost a deadlock: 
but on September 6, 18 14, Gallatin suggested a "stipulation for dis- 
arming on both sides of the lakes." Adams objected that their instruc- 
tions did not warrant such a proposal. Later, the British Commis- 
sioners hinted that, if the Indian question could first be settled, 58 they 
would be prepared to make a proposal, "entirely founded on principles 
of moderation and justice." 59 Assuming that this would be mutual re- 
duction of armaments on the lakes, the American Commissioners 
agreed, on September 26, "to meet such a proposition with perfect 
reciprocity," 60 and on October 26, Gallatin asked Monroe this ques- 
tion, "Supposing the British do propose a mutual restriction, .... 

87 The demands of the British, when the Ghent negotiations opened, included, 
according to Thomas A. Bailey (A Diplomatic History of the American People, p. 
147), a demand that "the United States was never thereafter to maintain either 
fortifications or armed naval vessels on the Great Lakes." Nathaniel Atchinson, in 
his Compressed view of the points to be discussed in treating with the United 
States of America (London, 1814), had boldly declared, p. 10: "It should be stipu- 
lated that no vessel belonging to the Americans, exceeding .... twenty or thirty 
tons .... should be suffered to navigate any of the lakes, and that no fortifications 
of any kind should be erected upon their borders, or the borders of the St. Lawrence, 
or upon any of the waters that fall into them from the American side; whilst the right 
of the British in these respects should be reserved to be exercised without restriction 

"It was his opinion that "we (Great Britain) should have possession of Lake 

Champlain, and the waters descending into it; and of the adjacent country; and of 
the southern side of all the Great Lakes . . . together with Lake Michigan." (Ibid. p. 9) 

68 The Treaty of Ghent required the United States to restore to the Indians who had 
sided with England all the possessions, privileges and rights which had been theirs 
in 181 1 (American State Papers, Foreign Relations, III, p., 745 ff. quoted, Moore, 
David R., Canada and the United States, 181 5-1830, p. 10). 

69 Callahan, p. 63. 
60 Callahan, p. 64. 


either partial or total, should we agree?" No answer is recorded; and 
the Treaty of Ghent was concluded without the nighly desirable agree- 
ment which each side had clearly had in mind, namely disarmament 
on the lakes. 61 But the idea persisted after the peace was signed. In- 
deed, the day before it was proclaimed, 62 Mr. Jackson, of Virginia, 
offered a resolution in Congress instructing the Naval Committee to 
inquire and report to what extent the naval equipment on the lakes 
could be reduced without endangering the public interest. 63 

At first it looked as though none of the vessels could be spared, and 
there was little of the earlier spirit of disarmament discernible. The 
lakes during the recent war, had seen fierce fighting, in which America 
had made at least a creditable showing. She had, therefore, come out 
of the war with a legend of victory which caused her citizens to believe 
that the new Republic had proved that, on the sea, she could match the 
might of the world's greatest naval power, a tradition which Admiral 
Alfred T. Mahan in later years effectively shattered, in his Sea Power 
in its Relations to the War of 1812. 64 The inevitable result of this 
belief in America's superior naval power, this tendency to "blow their 
horn too much," as a British traveler expressed it, was a movement to 
construct vessels for service on the lakes. 65 This helped the sudden rise 
of naval appropriations which exceeded $8,500,000 in 18 15. By 181 6, 
it began to look as though the United States was preparing for a 
naval race with England on the lakes, a prospect which could not fail 
to alarm the sane leaders of both nations, who began tentative sug- 
gestions for permanently protecting, not the nations from one another, 

61 On October 17, 1814, Gouverneur Morris wrote to William Welles: "It would be 
wise to stipulate that neither party should have ships of war on the lakes or forts on 
their shores. Both are idle and useless expense." (Callahan, p. 64) 

62 The Treaty of Ghent was concluded December 24, 1814, passed Senate February 
16, 1815, signed by the President, February 17, 1815, ratifications exchanged, 
February 17, 1815, proclaimed February 18, 1815 (text: Senate Docs., Vol. 47,61 

Cong., 2 Sess., pp. 612-619). 

63 House Journal, Vol. 9. Quoted, Callahan: Cit. Opp. p. 65. 

64 The list of U. S. Naval force in 1814 is given on p. 308, American State Papers, 
Naval Affairs, I. 

In October 3, 1814, W. Jones reported to the Senate his estimate of the meaning 
of Captain MacDonough's victory in Plattsburg Bay, on Lake Champlain, "It is not 
surpassed by any naval victory on record." (Ibid., p. 308) 

65 On April 13, 1815, Marquis Wellesley confidently assured the British House of 
Lords that the war had caused America to begin working toward a great military 
and naval establishment on the lakes and frontier (Callahan, p. 56, note 3). But al- 
ready, on February 27, 18 15, the President had signed a bill providing for the sale 
of America's lake fleet, save the few vessels required for revenue service (U. S. 
Statutes at Large, III, p. 21 7). Clearly instead of a "great military and naval establish- 
ment on the lakes," there was beginning a movement for disarmament on the lakes. 


but the lakes, and the whole Canadian boundary line, from militariza- 
tion. Both nations had formidable squadrons upon the lakes. In 1814, 
the American Naval Department had reported 16 vessels on Lake 
Ontario, 10 on Lake Erie, 3 on Lake Champlain: and several more 
were launched in 1814. 66 Plans called for new ships-of-the-line, equal 
in size to ocean vessels, and the Treaty of Ghent had failed to do any- 
thing to stop the movement. 67 But, on February 27, 1815, President 
Madison signed an act of Congress, which provided for the sale of 
America's lake fleet, save those needed for revenue service. 68 Clearly, 
the old movement was re-beginning for the demilitarization of the 
lakes; and before the end of 181 5 it had gone so far that only 3 small 
vessels on Lake Ontario, and 2 on Lake Erie remained, 69 the hope 
being that England would join in the movement. But, when 18 16 
arrived, England had failed to fulfill this hope. Her lakes navy greatly 
exceeded the American, 70 and her Government, encouraged by the 
Canadian naval officers, was planning for a permanent naval force on 
the lakes. 

At this point, American statesmen began to suggest the idea of 

66 American State Papers, Naval Affairs, I, pp. 308, 380. 

67 Sprout: Rise of American Naval Power, p. 90. 

68 " Enacted, That the President of the United States be ... . authorized to cause 
all armed vessels thereof on the lakes, except such as he may deem necessary to en- 
force the proper execution of the revenue laws, to be sold or laid up " (Stat- 
utes at Large, U. S. A., pp. 3, 217). 

69 American State Papers, Naval Affairs, I, p. 380, B. W. Crowningshield to the 
Senate, Jan. 2, 1816. One was on Lake Champlain which "could be prepared for 
service in a few days" (Ibid. p. 380). 

70 On September 1, 181 6, Charles Bagot, the British Minister to Washington, 
stated His Majesty's naval force on the lakes of Canada as follows: On Lake Ontario, 
six vessels not ready for service, or laid up and "The Montreal, in commission, carry- 
ing 6 guns .... Star, carrying 4 guns, .... and unfit for service; Netley, schooner 

carrying no guns There are, besides the above," Bagot added, "some row-boats, 

capable of carrying long guns, two 74 gun ships on the stocks, and one transport of 
400 tons " 

On Lake Erie, "Tecumseh and Newark, carrying 4 guns each; and Huron and 
Sauk, which can carry 1 gun each " 

On Lake Huron, "The Confiance and Surprise schooners, which may carry one 
gun each . . . ." 

On Lake Champlain, "Twelve gun-boats; ten of which are laid up in ordinary, and 
the other two (one of which mounts 4 guns, and the other 3) used as guard-boats. 
Besides the above, there are some small row-boats, which are laid up as unfit for 
service. Keel, stem, and stern-post of a frigate laid down at Isle aux Noix." 

Monroe at once sent Bagot a list of America's force on the lakes (Monroe to Bagot, 
November 7, 181 6, American State Papers, Foreign Affairs, IV, p. 205), promising to 
"prevent any augmentation of it beyond the limit of the British naval force on those 


making the lakes a completely unarmed area. The suggestion was ap- 
parently first made by Mr. Adams, 71 as Charles Bagot, on July 26, 
18 16, wrote to Secretary Monroe: 72 "Mr. Adams having intimated to 
His Majesty's Government that it was the wish of the Government of 
the United States that some understanding should be had, or agree- 
ment entered into, .... in regard to their naval armaments upon the 
lakes, .... I have the honor to acquaint you that I have received Lord 
Castlereagh's instructions to assure you that His Royal Highness, the 
Prince Regent, will cheerfully adopt, in the spirit of Mr. Adams' sug- 
gestion, any reasonable system which may contribute to the attain- 
ment of objects so desirable to both states " 

Monroe at once replied, suggesting a "reasonable system" 73 namely, 
"to confine the naval forces to be maintained on the lakes, on each 
side, to the following vessels: that is, on Lake Ontario, to one vessel 
not exceeding 100 tons burden, and one eighteen pound cannon; and 
on the upper lakes, to two vessels of like burden and force; and on the 
waters of Lake Champlain, to one vessel not exceeding the like burden 
and force; and that all other armed vessels on those lakes shall be 
forthwith dismantled; and, likewise, that neither party shall build or 
arm any other vessel on the shores of those lakes. 

"That the naval force thus retained by each party on the lakes shall 
be restricted in its duty to the protection of its revenue laws, the trans- 
port of troops and goods, and to such other services as will in no re- 
spect interfere with the armed vessels of the other party." 

The definite reductions did not occur until Monroe had become 
President in 181 7, and John Quincy Adams Secretary of State; but 
they then followed the lines which Monroe had suggested, on August 
2, 1 8 16, in his note to Bagot. 

Despite England's undoubted superiority at the moment, so far as 
lake armaments were concerned, England, of course, knew that the 
American territory bordering the lakes was being settled much faster 
than the corresponding Canadian lands, and that, in the end, it would 

71 On November 16, 181 5, Secretary Monroe had written Adams, the Minister 
at London, authorizing him "to propose to the British Government such an ar- 
rangement respecting the naval force to be kept on the lakes by both Governments 
as will demonstrate their pacific policy, and secure their peace. He (the President) 
is willing to confine it, on each side, to a certain moderate number af armed vessels, 
and the smaller the number the more agreeable to him." (Instructions to U. S. 
Ministers, No. 8, Callahan, p. 68) On January 25, 1816, Adams laid the suggestion 
before Castlereagh, quoting Adams' Memoirs, Vol. Ill (Callahan, p. 68). 

72 Full text, American State Papers, Foreign Relations, IV, p. 203. 

73 Monroe to Bagot, August 2, 1816 (text: American State Papers, Foreign Affairs, 
IV, p. 203. 


be difficult, if not impossible, to maintain her superiority on the lakes. 
But, in addition, she knew that it would be an advantage to avoid a 
naval race, with the inevitable perpetuation of unfriendly spirit. Her 
expenses and debts, furthermore, were heavy, and her people were 
demanding retrenchment. All of these things worked together to pro- 
duce the astonishing result which, on April 6, 1818, President Monroe 
was able to report to the Senate in these words: "An arrangement 
having been made and concluded between the United States Govern- 
ment and that of Great Britain, with respect to the naval armament of 
the two Governments, respectively, on the lakes, I lay before the 
Senate a copy of the correspondence upon that subject, including the 
stipulations mutually agreed upon by the two parties." And he asked 
whether such a document required the advice and consent of the 
Senate, and whether, if it did, the Senate approved. 74 The Senate 
thought best to give its approval, and on April 28, 181 8, President 
Monroe proclaimed the Rush-Bagot Agreement in operation. 75 "The 
naval force to be maintained upon the American lakes, by His Majesty 
and the United States," it said, "shall henceforth be confined to the 
following vessels on each side, that is 

"On Lake Ontario, to one vessel, not exceeding one hundred tons 
burden, and armed with one eighteen-pound cannon. 

"On the upper lakes, to two vessels, not exceeding like burden each, 
and armed with like force. 

"On the waters of Lake Champlain, to one vessel, not exceeding the 
like burden, and armed with like force 

"All other armed vessels on these lakes shall be forthwith dismantled. 
," 76 

The President proclaimed this arrangement on April 28, 181 8. 77 
Seven months later, on October 20, 1818, a Convention was signed 
which, among other things, fixed the boundary from the Lake of the 
Woods to the Stony (Rocky) Mountains. 78 Its second article reads: 

74 American State Papers, Foreign Relations, IV, p. 203: et seq. for documents of. 
76 Text: Senate Docs., Vol. 47, 61st Gong., 2d Sess., p. 628. Proclamation in 
American State Papers, Foreign Relations, IV, p. 207. 

76 This demilitarization idea, later extended to the land, has established an un- 
fortified frontier of over 3000 miles: and so sacred has the idea become that when, 
in 1893, it was suggested that an American warship should be exhibited at the Chi- 
cago Fair, the Federal Government refused for fear it might constitute a violation of 
the Rush-Bagot Agreement. 

(Quoted, Bailey, T. A., A Diplomatic History of the American People, p. 157 note). 

77 Text of Proclamation, Senate Docs. Vol. 47, 61 Gong., 2nd Sess., p. 630. 

78 Concluded October 18, 18 18; advised by Senate, January 25, 181 9; ratified by 
President, January 28, 181 9; Ratifications exchanged January 30, 181 9; Proclaimed 


"Article 2 : It is agreed that a line drawn from the northwestern point of the 
Lake of the Woods, along the 49th parallel of north latitude, or, if the said point 
shall not be in the 49th parallel .... then that a line drawn from the said 
point due north or south as the case may be, until the said line shall intersect 
the said parallel of north latitude, and from the point of such intersection due 
west along and with the said parallel, 79 shall be the line of demarkation be- 
tween the territories of the United States, and those of His Britannic Majesty, 
and that the said line shall form the northern boundary of the said territories of 
the United States, and the southern boundary of the territories of His Britannic 
Majesty, from the Lake of the Woods to the Stony Mountains." 80 

The third article provided, "that any country that may be claimed 
by either party on the northwest coast of America, westward of the 
Stony Mountains, shall, together with its harbors, bays, and creeks, and 
the navigation of all rivers within the same, be free and open, for the 
term of ten years, from the date of the signature of the present Con- 
vention, to the vessels, citizens, and subjects of the two powers: it 
being well understood that this agreement is not to be considered to 
the prejudice of any claim which either of the two high contracting 
parties may have to any part of the said country, nor shall it be taken 
to affect the claims of any other power or state to any part of the said 
country; the only object of the high contracting parties, in that respect, 
being to prevent disputes and differences amongst themselves." One 
great achievement of this Convention of 181 8 was the fixing for the 
first time a comparatively definite boundary 81 for the Louisiana Pur- 
chase, on the north, between the Lake of the Woods and the Rocky 
Mountains. It postponed the settlement of the boundary line west of 

January 30, 1819. Text: Senate Docs., Vol. 47, 61 Cong. 2nd Sess., pp. 631-633. The 
text of this Convention of 1818 is printed in American State Papers, Foreign Rela- 
tions, IV, pp. 406-407. The texts of correspondence and negotiations are in Ibid., pp. 
349-406. The Text of the Convention appears also in Senate Docs., Vol. 47, 61 Cong., 
2nd Sess., pp. 631-633. 

79 The words "due west along that parallel" present an engineering problem in 
demarcation, as a parallel is a curved line following the contour of the earth and hence 
changes its direction from the straight line at every point. The Commissioners of 
1857- 1 869 realized the impossibility of marking a parallel and agreed that right or 
straight lines between established points or monuments should constitute the boundary 
along the 49th parallel. In no instance did the deviation exceed iro feet with an 
average of only x /i foot. This procedure was confirmed in Article II of the treaty 
signed at Washington, April 11, 1925. 

80 Quoted, Campbell and Twining: Reports upon the Survey, etc. p. 17. 

81 The Convention of 1818 made definite, for the first time, the northern bound- 
aries of Louisiana from the Lake of the Woods to the Rocky Mountains, fixing them 
along the 49th parallel. Thos. A. Bailey's Diplomatic History of the American People, 
p. 158. 


the Rockies for at least ten years, so far as British and American claims 
were concerned, and left unaffected the claims of other powers, notably 
Russia's in that region: and this in a period immediately following a 
bitter war between them. 

These agreements did not at once end all suspicions between the 
two nations. Madison, for the moment, thought that the possession of 
Canada by Great Britain was a permanent impediment to harmony. 
"The only reason we can have to desire Canada," he wrote to Monroe, 
on November 28, 181 8, 82 "ought to weigh as much with Great Britain 
as with us. In her hands it must ever be a source of collision which she 
ought to be equally anxious to remove." It was, of course, impossible 
for even such a mind as Madison to foresee the coming liberal principles 
which were to make Canada as free and independent within the 
British Commonwealth of Nations as she could have been had she 
become a part of the American Union. It was, therefore, natural for 
him to doubt the lasting value of the disarmament agreement: but 
almost a century and a quarter of peace has proved its value. 




Its success, however, has not been due to lack of dangerous disagree- 
ments concerning the, as yet, unsolved boundary questions. The Fifth 
Article of the Treaty of Ghent, for example, had stated one of these 
unsolved questions in these words: 

"Whereas neither that part of the Highlands lying due north from the source 
of the River St. Croix, designated in the former treaty of peace .... as the 
north-west westernmost head of the Connecticut River, have yet been ascer- 
tained; and whereas that part of the boundary line, between the dominions of 
the powers, which extends from the source of the River St. Croix directly 
north to the above-mentioned northwest angle of Nova Scotia, thence along 

the said Highlands .... etc. to the 45th degree of north latitude until it 

strikes the Iroquois or Cataraguy, has not yet been surveyed, it is agreed that, 

for these several purposes, two Commissioners shall be appointed, The 

said Commissioners shall meet at St. Andrew's, in the Province of New Bruns- 
wick and shall have power to adjourn to such other place or places as they shall 
think fit. The said Commissioners shall have power to ascertain and determine 
the points above mentioned, in conformity with the provisions of the said 
Treaty of Peace of 1783, and shall cause the boundary aforesaid, from the 

82 Quoted, Callahan, J. M., The Neutrality of the American Lakes, p. 87. 


source of the River St. Croix to the River Iroquois or Cataraguy, to be sur- 
veyed and marked according to the said provisions; the said Commissioners 
shall make a map of the said boundary, and annex to it a declaration under their 
hands and seals, certifying it to be the true map of the said boundary, and 
particularizing the latitude and longitude of the northwest angle of Nova 
Scotia, of the northwesternmost head of the Connecticut River, and of such 
other points of the said boundary as they may deem proper. 

"And both parties agree to consider such map and declaration as finally and 
conclusively fixing the said boundary. And, in the event of the said two Com- 
missioners differing, or both or either of them refusing, declining or willfully 
omitting to act, such reports, declarations, or statements, shall be made by 
them, or either of them, and such reference to a friendly sovereign, or state 
shall be made, in all respects, as in the latter part of the fourth article is con- 
tained, and in as full a manner as if the same was herein repeated." 

The Commissioners appointed under this Fifth Article, of course, 
accepted the conclusion of the Commission of 1 798, that the source of 
the Chiputnaticook was the source of the St. Croix mentioned in the 
Peace Treaty of 1783. But they found that a line run due north from 
the source of the Chiputnaticook struck no highlands until it arrived 
near the St. Lawrence River, and that those were not a dividing ridge 
such as was described in the Treaty of 1783. After long efforts they 
found themselves unable to agree upon the line described in the Treaty 
of 1783; and, as had been provided, the matter was referred to the 
King of the Netherlands. 

The reference provided, that 83 "the points of difference which have 
arisen in the settlement of the boundary between the British and 
American Dominions, as described in the Fifth Article of the Treaty 
of Ghent, shall be referred, as therein provided, to some friendly 
Sovereign or State, who shall be invited to investigate and make a 
decision upon such points** of difference." The reference was signed 
in London on September 29, 1827, by Charles Grant, Henry Unwin 
Addington, and Albert Gallatin, and provided for specially drawn 
reports to be laid before the arbiter, 85 as the reports of the Commis- 
sioners were "so voluminous and complicated as to render it improb- 

83 The Reference is quoted in full text in Stuart's Treaties and Negotiations, pp. 


84 The italics are ours, for they show what was asked of the King of the Nether- 
lands. He failed to answer them, thus enabling the United States to refuse to accept 
his decision. 

86 The "Convention providing for the submission to arbitration of the dispute con- 
cerning the northeastern boundary," concluded September 29, 1827; ratification 
advised by the Senate, January 14, 1828; ratified by the President, February 12, 1828; 
ratifications exchanged April 2, 1828; proclaimed May 15, 1828, appears in Senate 
Docs., Vol. 47, 61 Cong., 2nd Sess., pp. 646-649. It is signed by Albert Gallatin, 


able that any Sovereign or State should be willing or able to under- 
take the office of investigating and arbitrating upon them." It also 
provided that "the map, called Mitchell's Map, by which the framers 
of the Treaty of 1 783 are acknowledged to have regulated their joint 
and official proceedings, and Map A, which has been agreed on by the 
contracting parties, as a delineation of the water courses, and of the 
boundary lines in reference to the said water courses, as contended for 
by each party respectively, and which has accordingly been signed by 
the above-named plenipotentiaries at the same time with this Con- 
vention, shall be annexed to the statements of the contracting parties, 
and be the only maps that shall be considered as evidence, .... of the 
topography of the country." 86 

The articles declared, furthermore, that "the decision of the arbiter 
.... shall be taken as final and conclusive; and it shall be carried, 
without reserve, into immediate effect, . . . ." 

Clearly, if words mean anything, this bound both parties to accept- 
ance of the award of the King of the Netherlands, if it should come 
within the terms of the reference. This was the interpretation of John 
Quincy Adams, who was President when the question was sent to the 
King's arbiter: and, at first it seemed to be that of Andrew Jackson 
who succeeded to the Presidency before the King's award was made. 
When the King's decision was presented to Jackson in January, 1831, 87 
his first impulse was to issue a proclamation accepting it as final, ac- 
cording to treaty agreement; but his friends, and advisers, among 
whom was Edward Livingston, persuaded him to allow the Senate to 
decide whether or not it should receive "advice and consent." Everett, 
in his Life of Webster, remarks, "It was somewhat singular that the 
only occasion of importance in his life in which he, Jackson, had al- 

Minister to Great Britain, Charles Grant of the Privy Council and Henry Unwin 
Addington, Esq. 

86 Either party was, however, at liberty to annex to its respective first statement, 
by way of general illustration, any one of the maps, surveys, or topographical de- 
lineations which were filed with the Commissioners under the Fifth Article of the 
Treaty of Ghent. 

Article IV of the above articles (Stuart: Treaties and Negotiations, p. 72). The pro- 
ceedings of this Commission under Article V of the Treaty of Ghent were so vol- 
uminous and complicated that the two sides agreed to prepare "condensed state- 
ments," but they were condensed into about half a million words, and over 100 maps, 
which have never been published. They had worked for six years, but as partisans, 
not as scientists: and they left confusion not less than they had found it. Arbitration 
by the King of the Netherlands, January 10, 1831, merely suggested a compromise 
line as he thought the Treaty of 1 783 too vague to admit a decision for either side 
(Mills' British Diplomacy in Canada, p. 688). 

87 Full Text: Senate Doc. 47: 61 Cong., 2d Sess., p. 649, and note. 


lowed himself to be overruled by his friends was the one of all others 
in which he ought to have adhered to his own opinions." 88 

When the decision came before the Senate, there was fierce opposi- 
tion to its acceptance, an oppostion which many of the friends of the 
decision denounced as due to lack of a proper sense of national honor. 
But, in June, 1832, by the convincing vote of 35 to 8, the Senate re- 
fused its advice and consent, upon the ground that President Adams 
had not consulted the Senate before agreeing to accept any decision 
which the King should see fit to make, as "final and conclusive." 

As this decision reflected upon John Quincy Adams and not upon 
himself, President Jackson was content. It displeased him not at all 
to have the Senate register the opinion that Adams had made an error. 
Edward Livingston, 89 his new Secretary of State, however, looked at 
the criticisms of American honor from a wider point of view, 90 and 
succeeded in persuading Jackson to authorize him to justify the Sen- 
ate's rejection of the award. On April 14, 1833, with Jackson's consent, 
Livingston wrote to Sir C. R. Vaughan, "the President sees with great 
pleasure that the British Government concurs with .... the United 
States in the position that His Netherland Majesty had not decided the 
question submitted to him since, by Sir C. Vaughan's note, it is 
acknowledged 'that the arbitrator, furnished by each claimant with 
every fact and argument that has been adduced on either side of the 
question, had declared the impossibility of tracing, in conformity with 
the description contained in the Treaty of 1 783, the boundary line in 
question; 'and as the determination of that line, according to the treaty 
of 1 783, was the only question submitted to the august arbitrator, and 
he having declared that he found it impossible to trace it in conformity 
with the Treaty, it follows, that his inability to decide the point sub- 
mitted to him, leaves the high parties to the submission precisely in the 
situation in which they were prior to the selection of his Netherland 
Majesty to be the arbitrator between them, that is to say, they are 
thrown back to the Convention of the 29th September, 1827. By that 
convention it was agreed to submit the question, which was the true 
boundary according to the Treaty of 1 783, to the decision of an ar- 
bitrator to be chosen between them. The arbitrator selected having 

88 Quoted, Mills, D. A., British Diplomacy in Canada, p. 688. 

89 Brother of Robert R. Livingston. 

90 In a letter to Sir C. R. Vaughan, dated Washington, April 30, 1833, Edward 
Livingston gives other reasons for the action of the United States in rejecting the 
award of the King of the Netherlands. Referring to a note from Vaughan, of "the 
14th instant," he wrote that the President had directed him to explain the reasons 
for the rejection (Stuart's Treaties and Negotiations, p. 147). 


declared himself unable to perform the trust, it is as if none had been 
selected, and it would seem as if the parties to the submission were 
bound by their contract to select another." 

Even Lieutenant-Colonel Dudley A. Mills, 91 while severely censur- 
ing the Senate's action, considers it fortunate that the award was 
rejected, as its execution would have done serious damage to the 
theory of arbitration, which must aim at justice. 

In October, 1835, Great Britain declared herself no longer bound 
by the" Dutch Award," 92 and the question stood precisely as it had 
stood before the august reference. The Fifth Article of the Treaty of 
Ghent was still to be carried into actual boundary lines. 


So far, the adjustments, or attempted adjustments, of Canadian 
boundary lines had not touched the vast region from St. Regis to the 
Lake of the Woods, a region first surveyed under the leadership of the 
author of the following Diary. The author of that Diary, Major Joseph 
Delafield, as the champion of American rights in that area, deserves to 
figure more largely in the history of American-Canadian boundary ad- 
justments than he has figured; the reason for his failure to do so is the 
fact that his Diary has lain hidden and unknown to students for over a 

For a better understanding of that Diary, it is necessary to have in 
mind certain details with reference to Major Delafield's earlier life. 
Ten years before the unsuccessful attempt to settle the disagreements 
of the Commission appointed under the Fifth Article of the Treaty of 
Ghent by arbitration through the King of the Netherlands, Joseph 
Delafield had suffered "the only illness of a serious nature that I have 
suffered during a long life," as his manuscript autobiography tells us. 93 
After his recovery, he looked about for some out of door occupation. 
He had seen service both as a lawyer 94 and as a military man 95 before 

81 British Diplomacy in Canada, p. 689. He calls that action "indefensible." 

92 Stuart's Treaties and Negotiations, p. 98. 

93 Autobiography of Major Joseph Delafield, Mss. now the possession of General 
John Ross Delafield, of Montgomery Place, Barrytown, New York. This Mss. gives 
a brief sketch of his life before the opening of his Diary, May 3, 181 7. 

94 After graduation from Yale, in 1808, he had studied law in the office of Ogden 
Hoffman, and had been admitted to the bar on October 29, 181 1, entering as a part- 
ner with Mr. Hoffman (History of New York Academy of Sciences, H. L. Fair- 

95 On March 12, 1810 he had been appointed Lieutenant of the Fifth New York 


his illness; but dearer than either of these fields he held science. Al- 
ways fossils and other objects of "Natural History" had fascinated him. 
He had studied with eagerness the best books of the day upon these 
subjects, 96 and these studies, combined with a natural taste for ad- 
venture, had caused him to take a deep interest in the work of the 
Commission which, as has been already shown, was attempting to solve 
the questions under the Fifth Article of the Treaty of Ghent. Much of 
the area assigned to that Commission had never been studied by sci- 
entists, and he realized the opportunities which it offered for the col- 
lection of specimens. But he knew that boundaries were also to be sur- 
veyed far to the west, under the Sixth and Seventh Articles, and that 
these areas would offer still greater areas still unexplored by the sci- 
entist. He therefore fixed his desires upon the western area, and planned 
to associate himself with it, rather than with the eastern operations 
already well advanced, but doomed to failure. "My friends, General 
Peter Porter and Colonel S.(amuel) Hawkins," says his Autobiography, 
"were appointed, the former the Commissioner and the latter the Agent 
of the United States, under the Sixth and Seventh Articles of the Treaty 
of Ghent. It promised to be a very desirable employment and I made 
known my wishes to these gentlemen to accompany them. 

"A long and friendly intercourse with both of them, and the fact 
that the Commissioner and Agent had no great regard for each other, 
I have always considered had a controlling influence in the result. 

State Militia, and on February 4, 181 2 had been made Captain of drafted militia. 
On December 29, 181 2, he had been transferred to the Regular Army, as Captain, 
and had served with Hawkins' regiment. On April 15, 1814, he had been com- 
missioned Major in the 46th Regiment, U. S. Infantry (History of the New York 
Academy of Sciences, H. L. Fairchild; sketch of Joseph Delafield). 

96 Major Delafield's Diary contains evidence that his deep interest in fossils, shells, 
animals of all kinds, and specimens of rocks, had been quickened and given direction 
by a study of Cuvier's recently published Essay on the Theory of the Earth (New 
York: Kirk and Mercein, 181 8. I. 431). Cuvier declares his intention: "to travel over 
ground which has as yet been little explored, and to make my reader acquainted 
with a species of remains, which, though absolutely necessary for understanding the 
history of the globe, have been hitherto almost uniformly neglected." Delafield, in 
traveling over a geographical area, "hitherto almost uniformly neglected," labored 
conscientiously to collect "species of remains," for future study. In consequence, a 
very large part of his Diary relates less to the actual problems of boundary determi- 
nation than to the collection of scientific data, such as Cuvier had in mind. He 
therefore became what Cuvier described as "an antiquer of a new order," and his 
collections, still preserved in New York University, were reckoned the best American 
collection of the day. In the volume, Minerals from Earth and Sky (Vol. Ill of the 
Smithsonian Scientific Series, 1929, p. 303) appears a list of collections and collectors 
of gems and minerals, with this entry: "The Joseph Delafield collection, given by 
his family about 1890 to the New York University, with the stipulation that it should 
be kept intact." 


"With the approval of Mr. Monroe (then President) and Mr. Adams 
(then Secretary of State), I was attached to the Agency with instruc- 
tions to accompany the Commission." 

His duties were at first ill-defined, but General Porter described 
them as those of Secretary to the Agent Hawkins; 97 and Hawkins him- 
self speaks of him as "Major Delafield, my clerk," 98 in one letter, and 
"Major Delafield, my secretary" in another. 99 His salary, as we know 
from a letter of Samuel Hawkins, was $500 for the year, plus expenses. 100 
His mind, however, was little concerned with that fact, but with the 
problem of economy and efficiency. 

"General Porter, with his secretary Mr. (Major. Donald) Fraser, 
Mr. (David P.) Adams, principal surveyor, with his attendants, and 
myself (had) left New York for the St. Lawrence via Montreal on our 
first tour of duty, May 3, 181 7," 101 continues the Autobiography. And 
from that day to the end of the Commission, Delafield's influence con- 
stantly grew, until he was, at first unofficially and later officially, the 
active head of the American section 102 of the joint Commission. 

The Commission was to have met at St. Regis on May 10, 181 7, 
but it was May 23 before it assembled, a delay caused, as the Journal 
says, 103 "by the state of the roads." Those present, as given in the 
Journal were, Ogilvy 104 and Porter, the British and the American 
Commissioners, Stephen Sewell, of Montreal, Secretary or Assistant 
Secretary "as shall be determined by lot;" 105 David Thompson, of 

97 Porter says, in one of his letters replying to Hawkins' complaints, that Major 
Delafield was Hawkins' secretary (text: Mss. in National Archives, Porter Papers). 

98 Hawkins to Daniel Brent, April 11, 1818 (Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of 
Ghent, Arts, VI and VII, Envelope II, Folder 1, No. 35). 

"Hawkins to J. Q.Adams, October 10, 181 7. Ibid. 

100 Samuel Hawkins to Daniel Brent, Utica, Oct. 13, 181 8 (Mss. in National 
Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope II, Folder 1). 

101 The details of this period May 3, 181 7 to September 23, 1818, are given in vol- 
umes I, II, III of the Diary that follows. 

102 Delafield to John Quincy Adams, Washington, May 17, 1820, says, "I have 
continued with the Commission from the commencement of its labors to the present 
time." (Mss. in National Archives, Northern Boundary, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI 
and VII, Envelope I. Folder 2.) As Agent, in the later days of the Commission, he 
prepared and signed the reports and the Journal. 

103 The Journal, in Mss. in the National Archives, Washington, p. 1, gives further 
details of the constitution of the Commission. It says: "to prevent unnecessary delay, 
the next meeting shall be on the spot where their active duty is to commence; and the 
parties accordingly adjourn (from the first meeting at Albany, Nov. 8, 18 16) to meet 
at St. Regis on the tenth day of May next 181 7". It was however May 23 when they 
met, "an earlier day having been prevented by the state of the roads." (Journal p. 7.) 

104 On September 28, 181 9, Commissioner Ogilvy died and Anthony Barclay 
succeeded as British Commissioner, assuming office on June 3, 1820, atGrosse Island. 

105 (Journal p. 8.) The lot made Sewell Secretary, Fraser Assistant Secretary. Sewell 


Canada, as one of the astronomical surveyors; Alexander Stevenson, 
of Lower Canada, as one of the clerks, or assistant surveyors; Major 
Donald Fraser, of New York, as Secretary or Assistant Secretary "as 
shall be determined by lot;" David P. Adams, of Boston, as "one of 
the astronomical surveyors;" 106 William A. Bird, of Troy, New York, 
as "one of the clerks or assistant surveyors." 

These things done, the Board adjourned, to reconvene at Porter's 
Marquee on the 26th of May, 181 7, at which time Samuel Hawkins 
appeared and presented his Commission 107 as Agent for the United 
States, under the Sixth and Seventh Articles of the Treaty of Ghent, 
and by the President's appointment. 108 

Major Delafield is mentioned only incidentally in these earlier 
records of the Commission, 109 as his connection was as yet unofficial. 
But Hawkins' expense account as Agent, commencing, in May, 1 8 1 7, 
shows a few items in connection with his journey to St. Regis. A letter 
from his mother, dated July 20, 181 7 110 gives an idea of the equipment 
which they enjoyed: "I find that your arrangements have excited the 

resigned in June, 1819, and Fraser became Secretary, while Dr. John Biggsby was 
made Assistant Secretary. 

106 David P. Adams, Assistant Surveyor to the Commission on Boundaries, wrote 
from Washington, D. C. on April 7, 181 8: "On the 21st of last May (181 7) I arrived 
with my astronomical and trigonometrical instruments at the village of St. Regis. . . . 
I found General Porter and Col. Ogilvy, the Commissioners, and Col. Hawkins, the 
U. S. Agent, preparing to assume their functions." Adams began his work in June, 
181 7. "The plans of the survey adopted by each," he says "were very similar; a con- 
nected series of triangles was arranged throughout all the various channels, and an 
entire concatenation of them was preserved along the whole extent of the work, 
which contains somewhat more than 40 miles. All the angles were carefully measured 
and verified at their respective stations. . . . 

"I understand, however, that the plan of the Commissioners for the future, (i. e. 
after April 7, 181 8) . . . has . . . been materially altered. . . . The river is to be ap- 
portioned in equal and alternate sections to the two parties of surveyors, and each is 
to furnish the other with a copy of his respective operations. By this change of plan, 
the work will advance with at least double celerity. ... I expect that 200 or 250 miles 
of the river will be surveyed in the course of the ensuing season. ..." (Adams to Hon. 
Th. Claiborne, text: Mss. of Journal, in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts, 
VI and VII, Envelope II, Folder 1, p. 8.) 

107 On May 27, 181 7 Commissioner Porter wrote to Richard Rush, then Acting 
Secretary of State. "Colonel Hawkins yesterday presented his credentials and was 
recognized by the Board of Commissioners as Agent for the United States. No agent 
has yet appeared on the part of the British Government, nor is Mr. Ogilvy, as he 
informs me, apprised of any appointment." (Text: Mss. National Archives, Treaty of 
Ghent, Arts, VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 2.) 

108 Joseph Delafield's Autobiography, p. 6. 

109 Text: American State Papers, Foreign Affairs, V, pp. 54-55. Mss. form in the 
National Archives, Washington, D. C. 

110 Mss. at Montgomery Place, Barry town-on-Hudson, New York. 


observations of the British Commissioners," she said. "Colonel Ogilvy 
writes to Colonel Barclay that the American Commissioners have es- 
tablished themselves in a very superior style, both as respects their en- 
campment and their numbers, and that they (the British Commis- 
sioners) fall far short in their arrangements." And she added, "We 
see by the papers that the President in his route will visit St. Regis. 
Your elegant marquee will no doubt be honored on this occasion." 111 

President Monroe did make the visit, and his report to Congress in 
December, 1817, shows that the ideas which the next year took the 
shape of the Rush-Bagot agreement for disarmament on the lakes 
already described were made definite by the visit. "Our people," he 
said, "are the barrier on the lakes," intimating that he considered 
fortifications unnecessary. 

"It soon became evident," says Delafield's Autobiography, "that the 
intercourse between General Porter and Colonel Hawkins was un- 
harmonious and embarrassing. They differed as to their respective 
duties," and Hawkins early showed a disposition to make his as com- 
prehensive as possible. As "my powers under the treaty do not ap- 
pear to be defined," he had written to Secretary of State Monroe on 
June 24, 181 6, I feel free to make "almost indiscriminate claims." 112 
And, on May 30, 181 7, he complained to Richard Rush, the Acting 
Secretary of State: "so wide a difference exists between the Commis- 
sioner (General Porter) and myself as to the nature and extent of our 
relative duties, that it has become necessary to appeal to the Depart- 
ment for their views of the points of controversy." 113 This appeal 
appears mere factiousness in view of the fact that already, on March 
22, 181 7, Rush had sent him a definite decision upon the relationship 
between the Agent and the Commission. "With the Commission," he 
said, "will rest the power of deciding questions. Your duty will there- 

111 On Aug. 15, 181 7, Porter had informed Rush that there "seems now to be a 
propriety in keeping the accounts of the Board and of the Agency separate." (Mss. 
National Archives.) Thus Hawkins' accounts had to be dealt with as distinct from 
those of the Board itself; and the task of dealing with them fell to Delafield. "The 
difficulty that occurred to prevent the settlement," he wrote to John Quincy Adams, 
on November 1, 1820 "... was submitted by me to the Commissioner of the 
United States in conformity with my instructions. In order to present a just under- 
standing of what has transpired relative to these accounts, I have reduced the same 
to a correspondence with General Porter. His promised reply in a few days will 
enable me to lay the result before the Department of State." (Delafield to Adams, 
Nov. 1, 1820. Mss. in National Archives.) 

112 Text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope 
II, Folder 1. 

113 Text: Mss. National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope 
II, Folder 1. 


fore naturally direct itself towards aiding them. . . ." 114 But the Secre- 
tary patiently replied, again repeating his interpretation. Hawkins, 
however, declared himself not satisfied, and unwisely sent an appeal 
directly to the President. This of course called for a reply from Commis- 
sioner Porter, who properly addressed himself to Rush, as Acting 
Secretary of State. "Some days ago," he wrote on June 19, 1817, 115 
"Colonel Hawkins, the Agent of the Government, presented to the 
Commission a paper of some length, containing an exposition of his 
views on the subject of the relative powers and duties of the Commis- 
sioners and Agents, and suggesting certain forms of procedure. ... I 
regret to find that they did not entirely correspond with those enter- 
tained by the Board." On June 24, 181 7, he wrote again 116 to explain 
that Hawkins insisted that the "surveyors and other persons employed 
by the Commissioners . . . ought to be under the direction and control 
of the Agent: whereas the Commissioners suppose that they ought to 
be under the direction and control of the Board." 117 

Replying for the State Department, Rush wrote on June 23, 181 7: 118 
"I have carefully examined Colonel Hawkins' paper . . . and think 
that he has the wrong side. I take the Agent to be an officer having 
neither independent nor coordinate powers." And his opinion was sup- 
ported by the President. 119 

These decisions, later supplemented by a similar view from a Com- 
mittee of Congress, 120 Hawkins had to accept, but his hostility toward 

114 Text: Mss. National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope 
II, Folder 1. 

116 Text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope 

I, Folder 1. 

116 Text: Mss. National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, 
Folder 1. 

117 Hawkins held that "he and his co-agent represent the power and sovereignty 
of their respective governments in regard to the demarcation of the boundary; or . . . 
that the two agents agreeing . . . the Commissioners are bound to adopt" the line they 
designate, having discretion only when the agents failed to agree. 

118 Text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope 

II, Folder 1. 

119 Rush to Hawkins, July 16, 1817. Text: Mss. In National Archives, Treaty of 
Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope II, Folder 1. 

120 A Committee of the House, appointed March 27, 181 8, reported on April 11, 
181 8 (Text: National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts VI and VII, Envelope IV, 
Folder 2) "the Commissioners constitute a court, whose business it is to decide. . . . 
It belongs to the Agents to furnish the facts for decision." It is also recommended 
"that the President ... be requested to arrange with the British Government some 
mode of designating the boundary line under the sixth and seventh articles . . . which 
shall require less time and expense than the one which the Commissioners have 
heretofore pursued." 


Porter was not lessened by his defeat. Every action of General Porter 
was regarded with suspicion, and treated with innuendo. 

Hawkins, in June, 1818, had a conversation with Major Delafield 
which, as he said, left upon his mind "the impression . . . that Major 
Delafield had learned thro' Judge Ogden or his brother that General 
Porter had one share," in a land speculation involving the purchase of 
certain islands along the course of the line which the Commission was 
projecting. He preferred no charges; but his remarks at once called 
from Major Delafield a denial of such meaning as had been given to 
his words. Reluctantly Hawkins acknowledged that Major Delafield's 
remarks had been shown to relate, not to the purchase of lands to be 
assigned by the Commission's survey, but "to the purchase of other terri- 
tory than the islands in question:" 121 and later David A. Ogden con- 
firmed this view in evidence given before a Committee of Congress. 122 

Toward the end of June, 1 8 1 8, for reasons not revealed, but doubtless 
connected with the constant friction with the Agent, General Porter 
decided to "absent himself from the boundary," and consulted Major 
Delafield as to the best method of accomplishing his purpose. Colonel 
Hawkins has himself left on record 123 the fact that, on June 26, 181 8, 
General Porter "entered upon a conversation . . . with Major Dela- 
field, Secretary of the Agency. In the course of this he mentioned his 
intention to absent himself from the surveying party during the sum- 
mer, and expressed his hope that I would do the same. He at the same 
time . . . intimated a wish that Major Delafield should take charge of 
the party in concert with Major Fraser, the Assistant Secretary of the 
Board." "I immediately" he adds, "requested the Major (Delafield) to 
reassure General Porter . . . that I only wished him to reduce them 
(his suggestions) to writing. . . . On the 27th of June Major Delafield . . . 

121 Mss. In National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope II, 
Folder 1. 

122 On April 9, 181 8, Judge D. A. Ogden and General Porter were under suspicion 
of having planned to purchase certain islands along the course of the projected line. 
Hawkins reported a conversation with Major Delafield, adding, "The impression left 
on my mind by this conversation was that Major Delafield had learned thro' Judge 
Ogden or his brother, that General Porter had one share in the speculation." But later 
conversation with Delafield led him to see that Major Delafield's remarks "related 
to the purchase of other territory than the islands in question." (Mss. in National 
Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope II, Folder 1.) 

This latter view is proved true by a deposition of Joseph Delafield, preserved in the 
National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope II, Folder 1, and 
by a deposition of David A. Ogden himself, given to a Committee of the House of 
Representatives, and signed on the 10th of April, 1818 (text: Mss., Ibid.). 

123 Text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope 
II, Folder 1. 


repeated my assurances to the General. . . ." The result was the settle- 
ment which left Delafield and Fraser 124 in charge of the entire field of 
operations of the American Commission. 125 It had required no little 
diplomacy to work with two such determined antagonists as Hawkins 
and Porter, and, at the end, to be the choice of both for the most im- 
portant post in the American Commission. He had seen clearly the 
faults of each, but had scrupulously avoided the assumption of author- 
ity, and had advised only when consulted. Now, however, the responsi- 
bility was his, and he acted promptly, to correct former mistakes, and 
to produce greater efficiency. "I broke up the Agent's encampment,' ' 
says his Autobiography, "and joined the Commissions thereby reducing 
numbers and expenses." 

From the first, Major Delafield had kept his Diary, entering not the 
facts which the Official Journal contained, but more personal items. 
The importance of this unofficial record soon appeared. In seeking to 
justify his own conduct, Hawkins wrote to President Monroe, on Feb- 
ruary 7, 1819: 126 "Annexed to the statement herewith transmitted is a 
copy of a part of Major Delafield's Diary, marked A, by which most 
of the facts I have enumerated are indisputably established. 127 I also 
send the original of this Diary, together with the certificate of Judge 
Richards that they may be collated with the copies; that being done, 
I am desirous to repossess them." 

He did repossess them, and the Mss. is still among his personal 
papers in the National Archives. As it is wholly in Major Delafield's 

124 Alex. Richards, in a deposition (National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI 
and VII, Envelope II, Folder 1), of January 20, 181 9, declares that Major Fraser had 
said to him "that he had managed the business in behalf of the United States the 
greater portion of last year." 

126 Hawkins' expense account as Agent (text: American State Papers, Foreign 
Affairs, V, pp. 54-55) shows Major Delafield's salary for the year ending April 10, 
18 1 9, as $1000. The Agent's salary for the same period given as $4,444.44. And the 
account is certified, "Joseph Delafield, New York, Nov. 2, 1819." 

In June, 181 8 Richard Delafield, younger brother of Major Joseph Delafield, had 
been sworn in as "a draftsman." His oath appears in the National Archives, Treaty 
of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope III, Folder 3. 

126 Text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope 
II, Folder 1. 

127 The extract sent remains in the Hawkins file today: but it is not an accurate 
extract. It is dated June 26, 1818, a date which is almost blank in Major Delafield's 
Diary as we have it, in final and complete form. The entry quoted corresponds 
roughly to the actual Diary under June 27, 1818. It appears as if Delafield had made 
a sort of rough summary of various entries of his own Diary, and had confused dates, 
as the extracts are in Delafield's handwriting as is an accompanying letter to Hawkins, 
written and signed by Delafield (text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, 
Arts. VI and VII, Envelope II, Folder 1). 


handwriting, and signed by him, it is convincing evidence of the fact 
that Delafield was still ready to serve his old friend, in so far as this 
could be done without injustice to his other old friend, General Porter, 
or to the cause which he served. 

Soon there arose serious difficulties in the consolidated camp, be- 
tween the principal surveyor and one of his assistants, which ended in 
the withdrawal of the assistant; 128 and from that time forward all the 
duties of the American Agency devolved upon Major Delafield, as 
Colonel Hawkins, the Agent, became contractor for the building of a 
fort at Mobile and was permanently detached from the boundary 
Commission. 129 

The difficulty of carrying the full duties of Agent without being 
invested with the legal authority of that office soon appeared, and, on 
May 17, 1820, Major Delafield sent to the Secretary of State, John 
Quincy Adams, 130 a letter in which he said, "As the office of Agent . . . 
has been vacated, some embarrassments may arise. That gives me the 
more confidence in submitting the annexed suggestions: that I be 
permitted: to repair to the above described boundary Commission, 
to represent the United States (during the absence of an Agent more 
fully authorized) under the direction of the Government, or of the 
American Commissioner, so far as it may be necessary: to meet any 
proceedings on the part of the British Agent: to continue the minutes 
and Journal of the Agency, keep a record of the proceedings, and note 
the evidence upon which decisions are had: to report to the Govern- 
ment the proceedings of the Board and other occurences of moment: 
to transact all such things as the American Commissioner should deem 
to require the interference of an Agent on the part of his Government: 
to avoid the allegation on the part of the British Government, that the 
United States had not met the Agent of His Britannic Majesty by a 
corresponding officer, or person acting in such capacity: to supply the 
American Commissioner with another officer, so that he might be 
enabled to retire from the personal superintendence of the survey and 
party of surveyors whenever it might seem to him proper and requisite 

128 "^[y Diary I find explains these matters in detail and my success in keeping 
the peace," comments Major Delafield, in his Autobiography, p. 7. He was Acting 
Agent from March, 1820 to January, 1821 (Autobiography, p. 9). 

129 As it was now clear that the responsibilities of the survey, so far as the American 
Commission was concerned, were to be given up by him, Hawkins, on January 29, 
181 9, wrote out with care "A History of Certain Transactions During the Year 181 8," 
a document still preserved (text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. 
VI and VII, Envelope II, Folder 1). 

130 Delafield to John Quincy Adams, Washington, May 17, 1820 (text: Mss. in 
National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 2). 


for the furtherance of the proceedings of the Board: to enable the Board 
to proceed to the consideration of cases, that in their opinion require 
the appearance of the respective governments by officers representing 
them. It may be proper to add that much material is now matured 
for consideration of the Board, not perhaps involving questions of 
doubt or difficulty; and that whenever the Board should conclude 
to act upon such cases, an embarrassment might arise, from the non- 
appearance of an officer corresponding to the British Agent: to take 
charge of the public property left on the line by the American Agent, 
and dispose of so much thereof as is liable to waste, and not needed by 
the Commission. 

"It is not believed nor desired, that this appointment should increase, 
in any material manner, the expenses of the Commission. No additional 
establishment would be requisite. The traveling expenses to and from 
the line, and such compensation as might be allowed, would only 
accrue; and the appropriation for the present year, from my knowledge 
of the disbursements of the Commission, it is believed would cover the 

"It is not intended to convey the impression that all the above 
enumerated duties are considered indispensable, but it is believed that 
should this appointment be made, considerable embarrassment will 
be avoided; and I feel it right to state my convictions, that it would be 
agreeable to the views and wishes of the American Commissioner. 

"Permit me to conclude, that I have continued with the Commis- 
sion from the commencement of its labors to the present time; and 
that a strong desire to make myself useful to the advancement of the 
interests of my country (so far as in my power lies) urges me to seek 
for instructions upon the subject proposed." 

With this definition of the duties of the office of Agent, so completely 
in harmony with the idea which the Commissioner, General Porter, 
had urged against Hawkins, the President and Secretary of State were 
in complete accord: and accordingly Delafield was promptly appointed 
Acting Agent. 131 

In expressing his appreciation of the appointment, he wrote to 
Secretary Adams, on June 24, 1820, 132 "I am grateful that the views I 
had taken of the services to be performed by the Agent met with his 

131 On May 19, 1820, Delafield wrote to John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State 
(text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, 
Folder 2) from Washington, "I have had the honor to receive your communication, 
bearing date this day, authorizing my attendance upon the boundary line Commission 
under the 6th and 7th Articles of the Treaty of Ghent." 

132 Text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope 
I, Folder 2. 


(Commissioner Porter's) entire approbation and assent; and con- 
formably to his advice, I repaired to the camp of our party situated 
upon Fighting Island in the river Detroit. The survey is at present con- 
ducted in the vicinity of Detroit, and in the course of a fortnight it will 
be conducted to the entrance of Lake St. Clair. On account of the 
peculiar unhealthiness of the country, adjacent and contiguous to 
Lake St. Clair, ... it has been deemed most advisable to pass from the 
entrance into this lake, to the Sault St. Mary or confluence between 
Lakes Superior and Huron. Our party will accordingly sail for the 
further end of Lake Huron in a few days. The British have already 
proceeded to that point . . . the Commissioner of His Britannic Majesty 
(A. Barclay, Esquire) having been appointed to supply the vacancy 
occasioned by the death of the late Mr. Ogilvy." 

Four months later, 133 he again wrote Mr. Adams: "the survey hav- 
ing been conducted to the head of the river Detroit, I sailed with the 
surveyors, in a light schooner that had been employed for our service, 
on the twenty-first of July, and on the third day of August we com- 
menced a section of the survey at the north end of Lake Huron. 

"The British party had already begun their work at the head of the 
lake. We consequently took a section some distance below them, em- 
bracing the island known as Drummond's Island (where the British 
forces now have a garrison) , several channels hitherto unexplored, the 
commencement of the great Manatoulin Islands, and a great number 
of lesser islands. I regret that it is not in my power, without the aid of 
maps, to give you a satisfactory description of that country: nor do I 
know of any that have been published that give a true knowledge of 
that end of Lake Huron. 

"That end of the lake, from the river St. Marie to the great Mana- 
toulin, is included in the surveys of the two parties, and is completed. 
I conceive that the survey effected this season upon Lake Huron will 
embrace by far the most essential parts of the lake to be surveyed, so 
far as it relates to the duties of this Commission. Drummond's Island 
and Isle St. Joseph are of the most considerable interest, as well on 
account of their positions as of territory; and more particularly Drum- 
mond's Island. To this island, now in possession of the British, the 
United States have reasons to maintain a claim." 

He added that, as the season was now far advanced and the weather 
"boisterous and inclement," the party had repaired to Lake St. Clair 
on the sixth instant, and plans soon to go on to Black Rock, which the 

133 Delafield to J. Q. Adams, River St. Clair, Oct. 13, 1820 (text: Mss. in National 
Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 2). Two copies in 
Delafield's handwriting were mailed and both are in the National Archives. 


British party had already done. 134 There maps and records were put 
into permanent condition and Commissioner Porter examined them. 
"I take great pleasure in stating," Delafield wrote to John Quincy 
Adams on November 1, 1820, 135 "that our operations . . . have been 
sanctioned by the concurrence and assent of the Commissioner, Gen- 
eral Porter. Our surveys have extended from the mouth of the Detroit 
River to the end of Lake Huron, and have embraced that district, ex- 
cepting the small Lake Saint Clair, and the river Saint Clair, and those 
parts of Lake Huron that are not essential to the duties of the Com- 
mission. . . . 

"I also have the satisfaction to state that he (General Porter) concurs 
with me in opinion that but little remains to be done to bring to a close 
the performance of the sixth article of the treaty. ... I do not doubt 
but what all the surveys that are necessary, from the parallel of lati- 
tude north 45 , on the St. Lawrence River, thro' the lakes to the north 
extremity of Lake Huron, will, in the coming season, be completed; 
nor do I at present foresee any obstacles that may prevent a protraction 
of the boundary line, for that extent, by the decisions of the Board 
immediately thereafter." 

On November 27, 1820, Delafield assured the Secretary of State, 136 
that "the Agency with which I have the honor to be charged has not 
essentially increased the expenses of the Commission. Upon this sub- 
ject I beg leave to add that, if it should seem fit to place the compensa- 
tion of the Agent upon a footing with the other officers of the Board, 
the extra expenses incurred would be amply covered, by such com- 
pensation," which seems to mean that no other expenses would be 
added. He enclosed a list of persons who had been employed by the 
Commission during the year 1820 with the salary of each, and op- 
posite his own name as "Acting Agent" were the figures of $4444.44, a 
salary exactly equal to that of the Commissioner. 137 

How completely Commissioner Porter approved of Delafield, and 
his work as Acting Agent, appears in a letter which he sent to the 
Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams, on December 2, 1820. 138 "I 

134 The Journal VIII, 17, Oct. 22, 1820 says, "the surveys under the VI Article will 
be done (next season), extending from parallel of n. latitude 45 on the St. Lawrence 
to the water communication between Lakes Huron and Superior." 

135 Text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope 
I. Folder 2. 

136 Delafield to Adams, Nov. 27, 1820 (text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of 
Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 2). 

137 List in National Archives, with Delafield to John Quincy Adams, Nov. 27, 1820. 
Cit. opp. 

138 Text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope 


have been gratified," it said, "in having during the last season the as- 
sistance of Major Delafield, whose intelligence, habits of business, and 
correct deportment have rendered him very useful. I hope that he may- 
accompany us again next season. . . . The knowledge which, by his 
former situation, he has acquired of the various subjects connected 
with the sixth article, would probably enable him to be more useful 
than any other person. It would be my wish also, should he continue 
with us, that he should take a general management and superintendence 
of the operations and expenses of the surveying parties. This was not 
done by the late Agent for reasons which are already known to you." 139 

Delafield 's continuance with the Commission was of course assured: 
but the status of Acting Agent embarrassed him in his work. On 
January 10, 1821, he wrote to the Secretary of State, John Quincy 
Adams, from Washington, D. G. 140 giving a summary of the results so 
far attained, and the chief difficulties so far overcome. "The duties 
that have devolved upon the Acting Agent of the United States," he 
explained, "have been such as were incumbent upon him under the 
direction of the Commissioner, . . . his presence wherever the sur- 
veyors were employed." 141 But, he explains, now that the final agree- 
ments are to be made, "the Agent of H. B. Majesty will appear pre- 
pared to make claims and to urge them. ..." He then suggested that 
only an Agent of equal rank could effectively defend America's in- 
terests against such claims. The conclusion was of course evident; he 
should be given full status as Agent of the United States. 

Again the Secretary of State accepted his conclusions, and two 
months later, in acknowledgment, Delafield sent this letter: 142 

I, Folder 1 , No. 40. 

139 And he added the opinion that "Major Delafield has no expectation of receiving 
the amount of salary allowed to the former Agent (Delafield was as yet only Acting 
Agent) , yet the sum of one thousand dollars a year which he has theretofore received 
seems quite too small when compared with the nature and extent of his services, and 
when it is considered too that six or eight months of the year must be spent in camp, 
in an uninhabited and inhospitable country." 

140 Text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope 
I, Folder 2. 

141 On May 19, 1820, Delafield had been authorized by John Quincy Adams to 
attend upon the Commission under the 6th and 7th Articles (text: Journal, 43), 
subject to General Porter's direction. The letter makes clear that he had been in 
attendance before, at a fixed stipend, which Adams continued unchanged. "At a 
meeting at Black Rock, on May 7, 1821," says John Bassett Moore (Digest of Inter- 
national Arbitrations, I, p. 165), "Joseph Delafield appeared and presented a com- 
mission as Agent of the United States, in place of Samuel Hawkins." He signed his 
note to Secretary John Quincy Adams submitting the "Duplicate Journal" of the 
Commission, July 24, 1822, "Jos. Delafield, Agent. U. S." 

142 (Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, 


"New York, March 14, 1821 
Hon. John Quincy Adams 
Secretary of State 


I had the honor by the mail of yesterday, to receive notice of my appoint- 
ment by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to 
be Agent of the United States, under the sixth and seventh articles of the 
Treaty of Ghent, and have also the honor to acknowledge the receipt of my 
commission herewith. 

I am with the greatest respect, 
Your most obedient servant, 
Jos. Deiafield." 

Under this Commission, he directed the field operations until the 
end of the Commission in 1828. Unlike his predecessor Hawkins, he 
found no difficulty in working in harmony with General Porter, who 
gave him a free hand and full support in his important task of "perma- 
nently fixing the territorial limits of the two nations," to quote Porter's 
own phrase. 148 

"I passed every season," says Delafield's Autobiography, "with the 
surveyors on the boundary line, from St. Regis on the St. Lawrence to 
the northern extremity of the Lake of the Woods, repairing to the 
boundary in the spring, as soon as the ice disappeared, and breaking up 
our encampments in the autumn, when too cold or inclement for the 
conduct of the trigonometrical survey. Much of the winters I passed in 
Washington, having other business there. 

"The special duty of the Agent was to protect the interests of the 
United States, by making claims to doubtful islands, routes etc., when 
they could be substantiated by evidence. I was fully at liberty to make 
whatever claims I considered the interests of the United States re- 
quired. ..." 

The Commissioner's duty, under the Sixth Article of the Treaty of 
Ghent had been to designate "that portion of the boundary" of the 
United States from the point where the 45th degree of north latitude 
strikes the river Iroquois or Cataraguy 144 "to . . . water communication 

Folder 2.) He held the post and title to the end of the Commission in 1828, June 30 
(Autobiography, p. 9). 

143 Porter to John Quincy Adams, Nov. 3, 181 7 (Mss. in National Archives, Treaty 
of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 1). Volumes 9-12 inclusive of Dela- 
field's Diary cover the period in which Major Deiafield was a full member of the 
Board, and the member in actual charge of the process of locating the boundary line. 

144 Now called the St. Lawrence. See map No. Ill, "Iroquois or St. Lawrence" in 
Moore's reproductions, in National Archives, Map Room. 


between that lake (Huron) and Lake Superior." 145 As there was no 
longer any conflict over the respective duties of the two officers, Com- 
missioner and Agent, the work progressed rapidly and harmoniously, 
the Agent advancing the American claims, with the evidence furnished 
by his scientific staff, and the Commissioner accepting them as the basis 
of his discussions with the British Commissioner, and more and more 
confidently adopting them as his own. Thus the work assigned under 
Article VI was completed, and on August 2, 1821, Commissioner 
Porter reported to the Secretary of State: 146 "I have the satisfaction to 
inform you that Major Delafield, with the American party of surveyors 
and men, arrived at this place (Black Rock) from the upper lakes on 
Saturday last, having completed the part assigned to them, at the last 
meeting of the Board, of the surveys that remain to be executed under 
the sixth article of the treaty." And, on August 10, 182 1, Delafield 
reported to him (John Quincy Adams) 147 from Albany: "Early in July 
the surveys of the lake and river St. Clair were closed. From thence we 
proceeded to Lake Erie to conclude an unfinished section of survey 
that the British party had been obliged to abandon, in the sickly sea- 
son of 181 9. Toward the end of July this work was completed and we 
forthwith sailed for Black Rock. The surveyors and draftsmen of our 
party remain there engaged in preparing the necessary maps to be 
submitted to the Board for their deliberation, and, as we confidently 
hope, for a final report to the Government under the sixth article of the 
treaty. The surveyors of the British party have not yet returned, but 
are daily expected. 

"Upon their arrival, they will be employed in the same manner as 
our own party, and, it is believed, that the maps will be in sufficient 
readiness, in the course of the ensuing month, to allow a meeting of 
the Board, for the discussion and decision of the various claims of the 
respective governments, throughout the extent explored and surveyed. 
With this view, notice has been given for a meeting of the Board on 
the twenty-fourth day of September, next, at Utica." 

Commissioner Barclay's illness made it necessary to postpone this 
meeting to the twelfth day of November, 1821; 148 but the hope for 

145 The Commissioners under Art. VI were also to decide "what was the middle of 
the river Iroquois or Cataraguy, of the Lake Ontario, of the Lake Erie, and of the 
Lake Huron and of the communications by water between those lakes and whether 
certain islands lying in the same are within the dominions of His Britannic Majesty 
or of the United States." 

146 Text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, 
Folder 1. 

147 Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, 
Folder 2. 

148 Delafield to John Quincy Adams, New York, Oct. 8, 1821 (text: Mss. in 


agreement failed to mark the opening of that session, as serious points 
of difference speedily manifested themselves between the American 
and the British Commissioners, each of whom saw it as duty to claim 
certain islands of especial interest, or strategic value. 

The case for America was presented in writing by Delafield, as Agent, 
on November 21, 1821. 149 "The undersigned, the Agent of the United 
States," it said, "having an opportunity afforded him, to express his 
views in relation to the principles that may be adopted by the Board, 
preparatory to their consideration of the rights of the respective govern- 
ments, by which principles they are to be governed in the adjudica- 
tions they are about to make, has the honor to submit the following 

"It has been heretofore established by treaty (1783) that the portion of the 
boundary line which falls within the province of Commission now to 
decide (St. Regis to the Lake of the Woods) shall be along the middle of said 
river (meaning the Iroquois or Cataraguy) into Lake Ontario, through the 
middle of said lake until it strikes the communication by water between that 
lake and Lake Erie; thence along the middle of said communication into 
Lake Erie, through the middle of said lake, until it arrives at the water com- 
munication into Lake Huron; thence through the middle of said lake to the 
water communication between that lake and Lake Superior etc. 

Under this general description of the boundary line, doubts have arisen; 
and it is easy to agitate many questions and difficulties that tend to embarrass 
and obscure the present course to be pursued. Disclaiming any other object 
than that of a strong desire that the boundary line now to be established should 
be adjusted agreeably to the purport of the treaty, for and in accordance with 
the rights of both governments, the undersigned will confine himself to the 
obvious questions that first present themselves; and without a determination 
of which it has been thought the proceedings of the Board may in some measure 
be retarded — at the same time reserving to himself the privilege to enlarge 
upon various other principles that are applicable, whenever a disposition of 
those now submitted, or the progress of your labors may require it. 

The undersigned conceives the first question that arises to be upon the 
construction of the treaty (1783), to wit — what is meant by the middle of the 
rivers, lakes and water communications? 160 

National Archives.) 

149 (Text: Mss. Journal, July 24, 1822, pp. 51-57.) It has been printed in Senate 
Docs. Vol. 47, 6 1 st Cong., 2d Sess., pp. 620-623. 

150 Commissioner Porter, in a letter to James Monroe, dated Dec. 10, 1816 (Na- 
tional Archives), had clearly stated the case of "equi-distant" or "middle of the chan- 
nel." "A line to be run equi-distant from the extreme shore," he said ". . . would be 
liable to these strong objections. It would destroy the continuity of navigation (and) 
, . . lead to collisions between the citizens and subjects of the two governments, furnish 
facilities for breaches of the revenue laws, and the means of escaping from punish- 
ment for other crimes." He adds, "the channel should indicate the line." 


This question naturally divides itself into two others — viz. Is the middle 
of a river, lake, or water communication a point equi-distant between the two 
shores, without regard to the body of water or channel? Or is the middle . . . 
the center of the greatest body of water, its bed or channel, without regard to 
the shores? 

It is unnecessary to remark upon the hazard and impropriety of giving a 
construction to a treaty not warranted by its express terms, but when such 
terms are not explicit, and are liable to different constructions, the rule of law 
allows us to seek for what was probably in the thoughts of those who drew it 
up, and interpret it accordingly." He conceives that such is the fact in the 
present instance; and that the expression "the middle of the rivers, lakes and 
water communications" is of doubtful construction; and that the rule of law, 
to his understanding, affords no facility to the solution of the question. 

It then becomes necessary to recur to one or the other of the questions, 
that arise out of the general expression of the treaty. As to the first — is the 
middle of a river, lake or water communication, a point equi-distant between 
the two shores, without regard to the body of water or channel? .... 

The islands throughout the route to be acted upon, it is well known, are 
situated in all parts of the rivers and water communications, many in the 
center, and many near either shore. A line to be drawn through the middle of 
the river, in its present acceptation, would consequently pass over many of 
these islands, dividing them, in various proportions, between two governments. 
It would virtually erect two sovereignties upon one little island, and subject 
the proprietors and respective governments to continued and serious embarrass- 
ments. A compliance to this rule, therefore, in this particular, it is hoped, 
will be pronounced injurious and inexpedient. 

Another objection to this rule of decision is that a line drawn thus rigidly 
through the middle of the rivers would necessarily intersect the channel of 
navigation, wherever that channel was circuitous, leaving the whole channel 
at one time within the jurisdiction of one government, at another time within 
the jurisdiction of the other, a course that might have an unfavorable operation, 
contrary to the spirit of the treaty. 

It seems then that this principle of construction is not capable of a direct 
and thorough application to the subject proposed: nor is it deemed consistent 
with the interests of either government. 

Whether the middle of a river, lake or water communication means the 
center of the greatest body of water, its bed or channel, without regard to the 
shores, is a question that the undersigned also conceives objectionable, if it be 
adopted as a principle of decision. 

The true intent and meaning of the treaty, as it is interpreted by the under- 
signed, will throw some light upon this division of the question. The United 
States and His Britannic Majesty, desirous to maintain their friendly relations 
toward each other, provided for the distribution of territory lying between 
them, so as to promote that object. The presumption is thought both direct and 
fair, that the treaty makers, actuated by such considerations, also intended to 
secure to each party an equal use of the water between them. 

That the navigation of these waters is of the first importance to both nations 
is considered evident. With this impression and belief, it is submitted whether 


the following reasons do not render it inexpedient to adopt this latter mode of 
construction as a rule of division. 

The channels, in some parts of the rivers, lakes and water communications, 
are so extremely circuitous and confined that they fall within the present 
acknowledged jurisdiction of one party or the other, and a line dividing such 
channel would not make it otherwise. In this case, to adopt the rule would not 
practically secure to either government the reciprocal rights of navigation be- 
cause, however clearly the right of navigation may be declared to be free and 
common, that party that owns the territory on both sides of such channel 
(particularly when it is a passage forming a harbor, . . . ) can so control its 
use as to render insecure the rights intended to be maintained. 

It is conceived that a right to territory, and a right to channel, are in- 
separable, in such case, from a free and undisturbed navigation. 

The channels upon the route in question are subject to, and now under- 
going, continued and perceptible changes. The best channel of this year may 
not be the best channel of the next year. To adopt a channel for the line 
therefore will be to put at hazard that desirable and anticipated hope of a 
well defined and permanent boundary line. 

Another objection to this rule of decision is the number of channels that 
may occur, all equally good for the navigable purposes of the rivers. It is 
mentioned to show that the rule is imperfect and, if adopted, would not 
relieve this honorable Board from various other contingent questions. 

In case either rule of decision that has been proposed should be established, 
the undersigned presumes to surmise that many others would grow out of 
them, of equal difficulty with the present; that either would lead to many dis- 
cussions and consequent delay; and, although he is prepared to enter upon the 
discussions that such a course may require, he would previously ask leave to 
submit for the consideration of the Board another rule of decision that he thinks 
would lead to satisfactory and practicable results, which is 

That the boundary line be established by the observance of a middle 
line to be drawn thro' the rivers, lakes and water communications, and ascer- 
tained in relation to the shores: with such departures therefrom as the ne- 
cessities of the case and the interests of the respective governments may require; 
and as the Commissioners in a spirit of amity may agree to. . . . 

The proposition he takes the liberty to submit has for its basis the recip- 
rocal rights of both governments, although doubts must arise under any and 
every mode of decision that may be adopted. 

The undersigned concludes with the request that if, in the progress of 
the deliberations of this honorable Board, new doubts shall be agitated touch- 
ing either the territory or the navigation of the line to be decided, he may be 
heard in behalf of the government he has the honor to represent. 

Joseph Delafield, 
Agent of the United States 
New York, Nov. 21, 1821." 

On the same day, November 21, 1821, John Hale, Agent for His 



Britannic Majesty, proposed "that a water line as a boundary" ought 
to be agreed upon; but declared himself quite content to trust the Com- 
missioners to distribute the islands equitably. 151 And on November 23, 
1 82 1, Delafield assured the Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams, 152 
"I now believe, with increased confidence, that it will soon be in my 
power to present a report of the proceedings of this Board declaratory 
of their final agreement, together with the maps, and evidence of the 

By December 5, 1821, however, there was a set contest between 
them over the division of islands lying in the mouth of the Detroit 
River, Delafield urging America's just claim to "Bois Blanc, Sugar and 
Stony Island," and the British Agent, John Hale, claiming for his 
country Sugar and Stony Island. 153 Hale's argument was brief. 154 
"Upon the map exhibited by the surveyors," he said, "a line drawn 
along the middle of the said water communication, measured from the 
main shore on each side, appears to pass to the westward of both the 
said islands (Sugar Island and Stony Island), that is to say leaving 
every part of them on the British side of the middle line so drawn. The 
undersigned therefore feels it his duty to claim both islands for Great 
Britain, not only in the spirit but according to the very letter of the 
aforesaid treaty. . . ." (1783) 

Delafield's response, also dated December 5th, 182 1, 155 covers eight 
closely written fools-cap sheets, and claims "Bois Blanc Island, Sugar 
Island, and Stony Island" as properly American. He congratulates the 
Commission "that they have come to a provisional agreement upon 
the boundary line through the river St. Lawrence and Lake Ontario; 
through the Niagara Straits and Lake Erie." The difference, he says, 
concerns now only "certain islands lying in the river Detroit." "The 
only possible doubts that can arise, in regard to the disposition of the 
islands in the river Detroit," he confidently asserts, "apply to the island 
of Bois Blanc, and two small islands near the mouth of the river com- 
monly known as Sugar and Stony Islands." These he considers "so 
peculiarly situated that they form an exception to all others upon the 
boundary line. They lie in a narrow pass between two great navigable 

161 Text: Journal of July 24, 1822, pp. 58-59. 

162 Text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope 
I, Folder 2. 

153 Journal of Commission under the VI Article of the Treaty of Ghent, p. 46 
(Text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope III, 
Folders 1-5). 

154 Text: Ibid., pp. 60-61. 

166 (Text: Ibid., pp. 62-71.) It appears also as a distinct Mss. in the National Arch- 
ives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 2. 


rivers. The channels of this pass are much nearer the main shore of 
His Britannic Majesty than to the main shore of the United States. 
The best channel, and only channel now used, is continguous to the 
Canada shore, and between it and the Bois Blanc Island. 156 The harbor 
to be made by vessels from Lake Erie, in the mouth of this river, is in 
and about the channel described; which circumstances give a peculiar 
interest to the Bois Blanc, Sugar and Stony Island." In other words, he 
considered these islands, though "insignificant in point of territory,' ' 
of such essential consequence that he conceived it his duty, as Agent, 
"to claim in behalf of the United States the one equal half of the navi- 
gable channels and territory adjacent thereto." Such claim seemed 
to him to justify America in claiming "Bois Blanc, the middle of the 
channel between that island and the Canadian mainland, and the 
subordinate channels, flats and territory west of the island of Bois 
Blanc, together with Sugar and Stony Island." He considered this claim 
to the islands thus peculiarly situated founded upon the free and com- 
plete right to navigation, a right which in this instance depends upon 
"a right to territory adjacent to the channel." "To declare that the 
water lying between the island of Bois Blanc and the Canada shore 
shall be common to both nations," he said, "is not sufficient to remove 
the difficulty. It is an even and mutual right of jurisdiction over a 
navigable water that would remain wanting. Should the Bois Blanc 
Island fall within the jurisdiction of His Britannic Majesty, the channel 

156 «if tjjg channel is to be the boundary, soundings are necessary to determine 
whether the channel between Grosse Isle and the American shore may not be deeper, 
as it appears to be wider, than that between Bois Blanc and the main shore on the 
British side of the river" (John Hale's reply of Dec. 12, 1821. Ibid., pp. 1 00-101). Dela- 
field contended that at the beginning of the labors of the Commission such soundings 
"were actually taken with much care" (Ibid., p. 101), a contention which Hale was not 
in a position to contest, as he had not joined the Commission until the end of 181 7 
(Ibid., p. 101). But he declares that the late Commissioner Ogilvy had ordered his sur- 
veyors not to take any soundings (Ibid., 101), and that the Board itself, the only source 
of authority, had never given orders for such soundings (Ibid. 102). Delafield answered, 
on December 13, 1821 (Ibid., p. 106), that the minutes of the Board show no record 
that Ogilvy had ordered the surveyors not to take soundings (Ibid., p. 106). Indeed, 
he asserts that, to his own certain knowledge, Ogilvy had "assented to the doctrine 
that the line of the channel should be a rule of decision, and had 'in person and by the 
most indefatigable exertions,' collected evidence of the soundings of the channels" 
(Ibid., p. 106). It matters not, he said, "that orders were given to the British surveyors 
to take no soundings. It is sufficient that they were taken and by the highest authority, 
viz., the British Commissioner in person" (Ibid., p. 106). Later, at the Board meeting 
of February 5, 1822 (Ibid., p. 1 1 1), Commissioner Porter sustained this statement, by 
declaring that "the soundings taken on the Detroit River by Mr. Bird were made for 
the information of the Board, and by the express directions of Mr. Porter, and with 
the full knowledge and approbation of Mr. Ogilvy, Mr. Barclay's predecessor." 


on both sides would be bounded by the territory of the one party, and 
consequently become the empire and jurisdiction of one party; and 
the navigation of the river subject to its control. It is not meant that 
this channel which is a highway free and common to all can be by 
any power usurped for its individual and exclusive use." 

There was much more to the argument thus summarized; citations of 
law, quotations from decisions, the opinions of Vattel, the provisions 
of common law; all were employed to make the American claim to the 
disputed island overwhelming. 

John Hale, Agent for His Britannic Majesty, replied on December 8, 
182 1, 157 repeating Great Britain's claim to Sugar Island and Stony 
Island; and adding that "the island of Bois Blanc had not been men- 
tioned to him as a subject of discussion, and it had therefore remained 
unnoticed: but the spirit and the letter of the Treaty of Ghent, in his 
view, applied with additional force in support of the claim of Great 
Britain to that island, which lay within three hundred and seventy 
yards of the British shore, and not less than five thousand two hundred 
yards from the shore of the United States." 

To Delafield's argument, "that certain islands nearer to the Ca- 
nadian shore than to that of the United States should be assigned by 
this Commission to the United States, for the purpose of establishing 
a well defined jurisdiction to each nation," he opposes the guarantee 
of the Treaty of 1 794, which declared that all lakes, rivers and water 
ways should be open to the navigation of the citizens of both coun- 
tries. 158 "The boundary line . . . ," he said, "can never affect the right 
of navigation, that being established by the before-mentioned treaty. . . 
That one party may possess the jurisdiction and another the right of 
passing within the limits thereof cannot be doubted. This is seen every 
day and in every country . . ." It was his conclusion that all three 
islands should be adjudged British. 

Delafield again replied on December 11, 182 1, 159 with a veritable 
thesis, of fifteen closely written fools-cap pages. It was his view that 
"neither power should possess all the channel when, by following the 
natural course of the river, it can be avoided." "To equalize the rights 
of navigation upon the Detroit," he contended, "... the sovereignty 
of either party should extend to the middle of the channel." And he 
ended his argument upon that same point, by urging "an equal right 

167 Text: Journal Commission under Art. VI, pp. 72-83. 

168 (Journal of the Commission under Article VI, p. 74.) Hale also quoted Jay's 
Treaty to the effect that "no higher or other tolls or rates of ferriage, than what are 
on shall be demanded on either side." 

169 Text: Journal of the Commission under Art. VI, pp. 84-99. 


to navigation, that could only be secured in the Detroit by the right 
to jurisdiction to the middle of the channel." 

Hale's reply of December 12, 182 1, 160 shows that Delafield's argu- 
ments had not in any way altered his sense of obligation to claim "all 
the three islands in question in behalf of his Britannic Majesty." 

The last word in the long debate went to Delafield, who, on Decem- 
ber 13, 182 1, 161 reasserted his contention, claiming "the right of the 
United States to an equal half of the navigable channels of the De- 
troit." 162 

The Agents then agreed "to submit the questions that have arisen 
between them to the impartial determination of the Commissioners." 163 

On December 18, 1821, Delafield explained to Secretary Adams: 164 
"After frequent verbal conferences between the Commissioners, it 
was . . . agreed that the line under the sixth article could be designated 
. . . except for a few miles in the mouth of the Detroit River. 

"The Agents of both governments, accordingly, presented their 
claims to the islands in this river, and, having essentially differed upon 
the rights of their respective governments, and also upon the rules of 
decision that should be adopted by the Commissioners, a discussion 
arose that has led to a partial disagreement. In order to place this sub- 
ject before you, I transmit herewith copies of the claims and arguments 
laid before the Board by His Britannic Majesty's Agent and myself. 

"The territorial value of the islands in dispute is trifling, but their 
control of the Detroit River, in both a civil and a military sense, at- 
taches to them some consequence. 

"It seems that most importance is given to these islands by the 
British Commissioner, because of their military control of the Detroit. 
This may be a subordinate consideration on the part of the United 
States, still it derives additional weight from the fact that it is intended 
by the British authorities in Canada to concentrate their naval depots 
on the upper lakes, at the mouth of the Detroit, when Bois Blanc 
Island shall be declared to be a British island. This circumstance is 
not mentioned as having any bearing upon the merits of the question, 
but to explain that, if these islands are relinquished, the British Govern- 
ment will not only have a civil jurisdiction over the two best channels 
of the Detroit, but a military power on the spot to act in concert. The 

160 Journal of Commission under Art. VI, pp. 100-102. 

161 Text: Ibid., pp. 105-108. 

162 Ibid., p. 107. 

163 Journal of Commission under Art. VI, p. 107. 

164 Text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope 
I, Folder 2. 


merits of the question are, however, more particularly set forth in the 
accompanying papers, numbered from i to 6, 165 to which I beg leave 
to refer. I regret that the discussion has been unfortunately too hastily 
conducted to give it, on my part, the system and precision that was 

"The boundary line has been designated upon the maps 166 conform- 
ably to the agreement between the Commissioners, excepting the dis- 
tance of about three miles in the Detroit; . . . 

"Believing the British claim to be untenable, and that a disagreement 
in this particular will be made known to the respective governments by 
the Commissioners, I hasten to lay before you the present state of the 
proceedings, that you may be apprised of anticipated results." 167 Clearly, 
he hoped for agreement, but was fearful that, should his argument not 
prevail, England would take steps which would endanger the whole 
disarmament agreement made by Rush and Bagot. 

After discussions in Commission, beginning January 28, 1822, Com- 
missioner Barclay, on February 5, 1822, informed the American Com- 
missioner, Porter, that "as an agreement between them, upon the whole 
boundary under the 6th article, appeared impracticable, he was ready 
to exchange reports of the points of difference," and the American 
Commissioner at once agreed, 168 suggesting that "the ample informa- 
tion in regard to the depth and soundings of the said river (Detroit) 
and channels which had been collected by the naval officers of Great 
Britain, and the United States officers of the Engineering Department, 
..." should be placed on the records of the Board "for the benefit of 
the tribunal to which the establishment of this part of the line may be 
referred, in the event of a disagreement between the Commissioners, 
which seemed probable." Barclay declared this unnecessary, "as the 
Sovereign to whom the points of difference may be referred can de- 
cide upon the adoption of one or the other of the principles urged by the 
respective Commissioners." 169 Porter then proposed that the two Com- 

166 These six papers are filed with the above letter in the National Archives, Treaty 
of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 2. 

166 All the maps are preserved in the National Archives, map section, and have 
been studied by the present writer. 

167 On Dec. 28, 1821, Delafield recorded in the Journal (submitted July 24, 1822, 
Mss. in National Archives) the "accounts of the American Commissioner from March, 
1819 to March, 1820, totaling Si 2,474.57." The items are recorded in detail on p. 47. 
He added that he had "also examined the expenditures of the British Commission 
from January, 1819 to January, 1820 which amount to ^2,480.7.11," or $9,945.59" 
The British Agent, J. Hale, signed his statement in concurrence. 

168 Ibid., pp. 1 09- 1 10. 

169 Ibid., p. 112. 


missioners declare and commit to the Journal the results of their de- 
liberations "in order that it may distinctly appear upon what points 
they agree and upon what they differ." 170 And Barclay accepted the 

From their statements it did "distinctly appear" that the Com- 
missioners agreed upon the line from St. Regis (or the "Stone monu- 
ment erected by Andrew Ellicott 171 in the year 181 7") to "the middle 
of the mouth of the Detroit River." 172 They also, as distinctly, showed 
disagreement "as to the course of the boundary from the point last 
mentioned to another point in the middle of the Detroit River, opposite 
to the lower end of Fighting Island (or Great Turkey), 173 Mr. Barclay 
being of the opinion that the boundary ought by the true construction 
of the Treaty of 1 783 to pass along said river between Sugar, Fox and 
Stony Islands on the East, and Celeron, Hickory, and Grosse Islands 
on the West; and Mr. Porter being of opinion that, by the true con- 
struction of the said treaty, the boundary should pass along the channel 
of said river, between the Canada shore and Fighting Island on the 
East and Bois Blanc and Stony Islands on the West." 174 

The question having been stated so far, the Board adjourned, to 
meet at Utica, June 3, 1822; but, at the request of Mr. Porter, that day 
was later changed to June 18, 1822, 175 when "Mr. Commissioner 
Barclay presented to the Board the following paper on the subject of 
the differences of opinion which existed at the time of the last ad- 
journment 176 respecting a certain portion of the boundary line. . . . 

"The undersigned Commissioner of His Britannic Majesty informs 
the Commissioner of the United States that he has communicated to 
the Government of His Majesty the proceedings of the Board relative 
to the boundary embraced by the sixth article of the Treaty of Ghent; 
and that he at the same time expressed his confident opinion that, in 

170 Ibid., pp. 1 1 2-1 18 shows where they agreed, and pp. 11 7-1 21 shows where they 

171 At an earlier date associated with Major Pierre Charles L'enfant in laying out 
the City of Washington. 

172 Journal of the Commission under Art. VI, pp. 112 and 116. 

173 Journal, p. 124. 

174 Journal of the Commission under Art. VI, p. 116. See also Porter to Adams, 
Feb. 9, 1822 (text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, 
Envelope I, Folder 1). The Journal then describes agreement upon the line from the 
south end of Fighting Island to "the foot of the Neebish Rapids." (Journal of July 
24, 1822, pp. 116-117). 

176 Journal of the Commission under Art. VI, pp. 118-119. 

176 (Text: Journal of the Commission under Art. VI, p. 119). The Mss. copy sent by 
Porter to the Secretary of State is preserved in the National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, 
Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 1. 


case of a reference of the points in difference to some friendly Sovereign 
or State, to decide upon the same, the result would prove favorable 
to His Majesty's interest. That he has nevertheless received instructions 
from His Majesty's Ministers, rather to concede to the United States 
the possession of the three islands, namely Sugar, Fox and Stony, which 
form the ground of controversy than to break off the amicable negoti- 
ation on foot, between the respective Commissioners. . . . The under- 
signed therefore is ready to cede Sugar, Fox and Stony Islands, to the 
United States; provided the Commissioner of the United States agrees 
to appropriate the Island of Bois Blanc to His Majesty; and to establish 
the line in the water passage between Bois Blanc and the three before 
mentioned islands." 177 

Porter promptly declared his willingness "to accept the offer to 
adopt as the boundary the channel between Bois Blanc Island on the 
one side and Sugar, Fox and Stony Islands on the other;" but he clearly 
stated that he accepted it as "a compromise of conflicting opinions," it 
being understood that "no part of this arrangement shall be con- 
sidered as an abandonment by either of the Commissioners of any 
principles which they may have heretofore respectively assumed for the 
establishment of the boundary." 

"The points of difference heretofore existing," says the Journal, 178 
"having been thus amicably adjusted, the Commissioners thereupon 
prepared and executed in duplicate a joint report to the two govern- 
ments, declaratory of their agreement on all matters submitted to them 
by the sixth article of the Treaty of Ghent." It was signed in duplicate 
by Porter and Barclay, at Utica, on June 18, 1822, 179 and a copy was 

177 (Journal ofthe Commission under Art. VI, p. 120). As late as Dec. 17, 1821, the 
Commissioners had agreed to refer their differences to J. Q. Adams and Canning, 
the British Minister at Washington (Porter to J. Q,. Adams, Dec. 17, 1821. Mss. in 
National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 1). With 
this letter Porter sent a map showing the lines. He predicted a compromise after which 
"we shall no longer differ about the line." 

178 Journal of Commissioners under Art. VI, pp. 121-122. 

179 (Text: Senate Docs. Vol. 47, 61 Cong., 2d Sess., pp. 620-632). In general the equi- 
distant rule and the rule not to divide islands had been observed. "What is justice, 
but the application of the same laws to the rights of all parties?" asked Barclay, in 
urging the same rules for the survey under Art. VI (Doc. 451, House Docs. Vol. 11, 
p. 60). 

It was a complicated document, as decision had to be made concerning the owner- 
ship of a multitude of islands, most of them designated only by numbers. It was ac- 
companied by "a series of maps . . . exhibiting correct surveys and delineations of 
all the rivers, lakes, water communications and islands, embraced by the Treaty of 
1 783." But, as appears from the Diary which follows, an equally harmonizing principle 
was that islands should not be cut by the boundary line, but assigned in their en- 
tirety, to the one side or the other. 


delivered to each of the two governments concerned, each accompanied 
by a "series of maps 180 . . . exhibiting correct surveys and delineations 
of all rivers, lakes, water communications and islands embraced by 
the sixth article of the Treaty of Ghent." It declares "the true boundary 
intended by the two, according to the . . . treaties (1783 and 18 14)" 
as follows: 

"Beginning at a stone monument erected by Andrew Ellicott, Esquire, in 
the year 181 7, on the south bank or shore of the said river Iroquois or Cataragua 
(now called the Saint Lawrence), which monument bears South 181 74°45' west, 
and is eighteen hundred and forty yards distant from the Stone church in the 
Indian village of St. Regis, and indicates the point at which the 45th parallel 
. . . strikes the said river. Thence, running north 35 and 45' west, into the river, 
on a line at right angles with the southern shore, to a point one hundred yards 
south of the opposite island called Cornwall Island. 182 Thence turning westerly, 
and passing around the southern and western sides of said island, keeping one 
hundred yards distant therefrom, and following the curvatures of its shores to 
a point opposite to the northwest corner or angle of said island. Thence to and 
along the middle of the main river, until it approaches the eastern extremity of 
Barnhart's Island. Thence northerly along the channel which divides the last 
mentioned island from the Canada shore, keeping one hundred yards distant 
from the island, until it approaches Sheik's Island. 183 Thence, along the middle 
of the strait which divides Barnhart's and Sheik's Island to the channel called 
the Long Sault, 184 which separates the two last mentioned islands from the 
Lower Long Sault Island. Thence, westerly (crossing the center of the last 
mentioned channel) until it approaches within one hundred yards of the north 
shore of the Lower Sault Island. Thence up the north branch of the river, 
keeping to the north of, and near, the Upper Sault (sometimes called Baxter's) 
Island, and south of the two small islands, marked on the map A and B, to 
the western extremity of the Upper Sault, or Baxter's Island. Thence, passing 
between the two islands called the Cats, 185 to the middle of the river above. 

180 "The line," says the decision ( Journal of the Commission, under Art. VI, p. 
123), "is more clearly indicated on a series of maps accompanying the report, ex- 
hibiting correct surveys ... by a black line, shaded on the British side with red, and 
on the American side with blue, and each sheet of which series of maps is identified 
by a certificate subscribed by the Commissioners, and by the two principal surveyors 
employed by them." 

181 This word is omitted in the edited edition in Senate Docs. Vol. 47, 61 Cong., 
2d Sess. pp. 620-623, but appears in the Mss. copy in National Archives. 

182 The native savages called Cornwall Island Kou way no Kowana. Inscription 
on map no. 1 . 

183 Marked "Le Canal ecarte" on the map. First Sect. No. I. 

184 The Mss. of the Journal of July 24, 1822 spells this so: but on the map No. I 
accompanying the Journal it is spelled Saut: but in No. I it is marked L'Isle au 
Longue Sault, the one "Inferieur," the other "Superieur." 

186 Marked on map No. II as "Les Isles aux Chats." 


Thence along the middle of the river, keeping to the north of the small islands 
marked C. and D. 186 and north also of the Chrystler's Island, and of the small 
island next above it, marked E. until it approaches the northeast angle of 
Goose Neck Island. Thence along the passage which divides the last-mentioned 
island from the Canada shore, keeping one hundred yards from the island, to 
the upper end of the same. Thence south of, and near, the two small islands 
called the Nut Islands. Thence north, and near, the island marked F and also 
north of the island called Dry or Smuggler's Island." 

And so the description goes on, detailed, exact, clear, if unspeakably 
dull from the reader's standpoint. It describes just how it passed be- 
tween the islands marked G and H just before reaching Rapid Plat, 
and Presque Isle; to the north of Gallop Islands, numbered from one to 
ten, to the south of Duck, Drummond's and Sheep Islands, (Isle au 
Mouton), Bluff Island, Granadier Island, Well's Island, Rowe's Island, 
Grindstone, Hickory, Grand or Long Islands, Carlton, Grand Island in 
Lake Ontario, Fox, Stony and Gallop Islands in the same, to the south 
of the Ducks, in the middle of Lake Ontario. It leads us westward, to 
the mouth of Niagara River and up its middle to the Great Falls. It 
climbs those falls, through the Horse Shoe, keeping west of Iris or 
Goat Island. It follows the bend of the river to the strait between Navy 
and Grand Islands, and thence to the head of Navy Island. It moves 
west and south to Grand and Beaver Islands, and thence west to Lake 
Erie. It runs across the middle of Lake Erie, south and west, entering 
the passage south of Middle Island. It follows that passage, proceeding 
north of Cunningham Island, the three Bass Islands, and the Western 
Sister. It passes Hen and Chickens to their south, the Eastern and 
Middle Sisters to their south, and enters the mouth of the Detroit 
River, seat of the differences now adjusted, by the channel which 
divides Bois Blanc and Sugar Islands. It ascends the Detroit River leav- 
ing said Bois Blanc on its east and Sugar, Fox and Stony Islands on 
its west. It proceeds to Great Turkey Island (Fighting Island), passes 
on its western side, to the middle of the river above, and from thence 
along the middle of the river to Hog Island, which it passes on its 
south east side. It passes north of Isle a la Pache, to Lake St. Clair, 
through the middle of which it proceeds to Old Ship Channel, an- 
other name for the St. Clair River. Through the middle of this it passes 
to Squirrel Island, and onward, leaving Herson's Island on the north- 
west. Passing to the upper end of Herson's Island, to a point nearly 
opposite Point aux Chenes, on the American mainland, it enters St. 
Clair River and passes up its middle, leaving Belle Riviere Island and 

186 G. and D. appear on map No. II. 


Isle aux Cerfs to its east, until it enters Lake Huron. Taking the 
middle of Lake Huron it passes between Drummond's Island and Little 
Manitou Island by the middle of the passage between them, and then, 
turning north and west, around Drummond's Island, to the passage 
between St. Joseph's Island and the American shore. Thence it runs 
to the north of a group of islands numbered 61, 1 1, 10, 12, 9, 6, 4, and 
2 and south of another group, 15, 13, 5, and 1. Then, keeping to the 
north and east of Isle a la Crosse, and threading its way among two 
groups of numbered islands, it crosses the river at the head of St. 
Joseph's Island, and at the foot of Neebish Rapids, a point which was 
the termination of the line directed to be run by the Sixth Article of 
the Treaty of Ghent. 

The agreement declared that all islands between this line and Canada 
belonged to England, and those on the American side of it were 
American territory, "in conformity with the true intent of the second 
article of the .... treaty of 1 783 and of article VI of the Treaty of 

On February 9, 1822, Porter wrote to John Quincy Adams, Secretary 
of State: "I have the satisfaction to inform you that the Commissioners 
under the 6th and 7th articles of the Treaty of Ghent finished their 
adjudication under the said sixth article at the last meeting in Phila- 
delphia." 187 

This agreement settled "amicably and definitely," as General Porter 
later explained, 188 "that part of the line, the establishment of which 
is made the special object of the sixth article of the Treaty of Ghent," 
that is from St. Regis to the water communication between Lake 
Huron and Lake Superior, known from the days of the earliest French 

187 (Mss. in National Archives), Porter's name first and Barclay's next. In a note to 
the Secretary of State, dated Utica, June 21, 1822, Porter confessed that he had 
resented Barclay's claim that, "in consideration of the greater dignity of his Sovereign 
and Government," he should put his name first on all copies of the report. They 
finally agreed to "alternate this distinction." 

188 (Report of the American Commissioner, Black Rock, N. Y., December 12, 1827. 
House Docs. Vol. 11, 25th Cong. 2d Sess., pp. 3-4 of Document 451). In this report 
General Porter adds: "We were successful in establishing the entire line of boundary, 
under the sixth article of the treaty, as the same is minutely described in our final 
award; a copy of which will be found in our Journal, under date of June 18, 1822." 
No reference to this is found in Major Delafield's Diary, however, and he declares his 
conviction that they had observed the general rules which he states on p. 9 of his 
report. The report of the British Commissioner, dated New York, October 25, 1827, 
says: "On the 18th day of June, 1822, the said Commissioners closed the execution 
of the duties assigned them under the 6th article of the Treaty of Ghent, by making 
a joint report to that date" (House Docs. Vol. 11, 25th Cong., 2d Sess., Doc. 451, p. 43). 


explorers as La Riviere de St. Marie. 189 The end of this line was the 
foot of Neebish Rapids. "We have," he proudly assured the Secretary 
of State, on February 12, 1822, 190 "designated the line with a cer- 
tainty and precision which will preclude all future disputes and 
doubts." 191 

These adjustments complete, the Commissioner, General Porter, 
dispatched by Major Delafield a report to the Secretary of State "de- 
claratory of the particulars of our agreement," 192 and a promise to send 
later a copy of the entire Journal. 

On July 24, 1822, Joseph Delafield, as Agent of the United States, 
presented to John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, "a duplicate 
(in manuscript) of the Journal of the Proceedings of the Board of 
Commission under the sixth article of the Treaty of Ghent; 193 together 
with copies of the several papers, documents, accounts, and reports 
referred to in the said Journal, and which are of record particularly 
describing the same. 

"These several records, as delivered to me by the Commissioners, in 
conformity with the eighth article of the treaty comprise the 'duplicates 
of their respective reports, declarations, statements, and decisions, and 
of their accounts, and of the Journal of all their proceedings.' They also 
exhibit the claims that have been made in behalf of the respective 
governments, with the evidence on the files of this Commission." "I 
have also the honor to present," continues his statement, still preserved 
in the National Archives in its original manuscript form, 194 "a series 

189 "The water communication between lakes Huron and Superior has been known, 
time out of mind, or from the first French memorials, ... as La Riviere de St. Marie." 
(Doc. No. 451, House Docs. Vol. 11, 25th Cong. 2d Sess., p. 96). 

190 Porter to J. Q. Adams, Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI 
and VII, Envelope I, Folder 1. 

191 From Peter B. Porter's report (House Docs., Vol. II, 25th Cong., 2d. Sess. p. 3). 

192 The entire collection of Mss., maps, memoranda, etc. concerning the Com- 
mission under the Sixth Article are preserved in the National Archives. Almost all of 
the maps used to illustrate the present volumes are from that collection. 

193 The Journal, presented to Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams, by Major 
Delafield, on July 24, 1822 (Mss. in National Archives), gives the minutes of the first 
meeting at Albany, Nov. 18, 18 16, including special meetings which each Commis- 
sioner had a right to call after "reasonable notice to the other" (Journal 15). All these 
minutes were in duplicate and one copy was held by each secretary (Journal 15). This 
Journal is signed: 

"D. Fraser, Sec. Peter B. Porter 

J. Bisby, As. Sec. Anth. Barclay 

Joseph Delafield 
Agent of the United States 
Under the 6th and 7th articles of the Treaty of Ghent June 22, 1822." 

194 This statement appears over Joseph Delafield's signature, in the volume of the 


of maps exhibiting correct surveys of all the rivers, lakes, water com- 
munications and islands embraced by the sixth article of said treaty 
with the boundary line designated thereon: and also the report or 
declaration of the Commissioners, duly authenticated, upon which the 
decisions were fixed. Washington, July 24, 1822. 
"I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, 

Your most obedient servant, 
Jos. Delafield, 195 Agent, U. S." 

So ended, in gratifying harmony, all controversies under Article VI 
of the Treaty of Ghent; and it is evident that the satisfactory result was 
due, in no small measure, to the skill of the American Agent, though 
it would be unfair not to add, and the generous magnanimity of the 
British Government. 


The Joint Commission turned to the line to be run under the VII 
Article of the Treaty of Ghent, with an encouraging hope of agreement, 
a priori though it was. At first Pigeon River was assumed by both Com- 
missioners to be the location of the Long Lake of the Treaty of 1783, 
and both were inclined to run the line by the well known Grand 
Portage Route 196 which, starting south of Pigeon River, joined it above 
the falls. 197 Their instructions, however, permitted the exercise of dis- 
cretion in the event that a better knowledge of the country should 
indicate a better route, or one more in keeping with the wording of 
the Treaty of 1783. 

In a report to the Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams, dated 
February 12, 1822, 198 General Porter explained the Commission's 
plans for adjusting the part of the boundary under the Seventh Article 
of the Treaty of Ghent. Under the Sixth Article, he points, with par- 

Journal still preserved in the National Archives, under title, Treaty of Ghent, Article 
6, Report of Proceedings, Department of State. 

196 The present editors have read all of these documents, now preserved in the Nat- 
ional Archives in Washington, D. G. 

196 Grand Portage route was "a route well known to the Northwestern traders, as 
commencing at a point on Lake Superior, near the mouth of the Pigeon river which 
empties into Lake Superior abreast of Isle Royale, and about 80 leagues to the north- 
east of the mouth of the St. Louis river, on Fond du Lac." (Porter's Report of Dec. 
12, 1827, text: House Documents, Vol. 11, 25th Cong., 2d Sess., Doc. 451, p. 23). 

197 See Joseph Delafield's Report, House Doc. 451, House Docs. Vol. 1 1 25th Gong., 
2d Sess. 

198 Text: National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 


donable pride, the Commission was able "to designate the line with a 
certainty and precision which will preclude all future disputes and 
doubts in regard to it. . . . They have ascertained the precise location 
and the several areas of more than two thousand islands. . . . The 
Seventh Article" he adds, "embraces an extent of one thousand miles 
of boundary, about one half of which is across deep water, and the 
other half overland, and the whole through a totally wild and unin- 
habitated country, affording no means of comfort or even subsistance 
of the persons employed in this service, and a climate so cold and in- 
hospitable that only a small portion of the year can be improved in 
active duties. The course to be pursued in establishing the boundary 
under this article, which divides so remote and comparatively unim- 
portant territory, will be essentially different." 

What that difference was appears from the instructions which the 
Board drew up for the guidance of Delafield, Hale and the other work- 
ing members of the joint expedition. 199 "In ascertaining the boundary 
under the VII article," they said, "you are aware that it is not our 
intention to pursue the course of a trigonometrical survey observed 
under the Sixth. 200 It will however be desirable that we have a survey 
of the shores and islands between the foot of the Neebish Rapids and 
Lake Superior. . . . 

"In proceeding through Lake Superior to the northward of the isles 
Royal and Phelipeaux (if there be any of the last name) 201 examine 
whether any islands lie so near the boundary line described in the 
Treaty as to render it doubtful on which side of the said line they may 

199 (Mss. in the Journal of the Commissioners under the VI Article, pp. 132-134, in 
National Archives, Treaty of Ghent.) Later instructions said: "Proceed as early as 
practicable in the spring to complete the surveys . . . from the mouth of Pigeon river 
to the most northwestern point of the Lake of the Woods." 

200 The change was due to complaints from Washington as to the expense of the 
surveys under Article VI. It was poor economy, as this part of the boundary had later 
to be determined by triangulation. 

201 Research showed that there were none of the last name. Porter warned the 
Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams, on Feb. 12, 1822 that "the description of 
the boundary in the Treaty of 1 783, as indicated by a succession of geographical points 
and references, is not applicable to the localities ... as they have since been found to 
exist. And it will become necessary to explore and examine . . . not only the points 
referred to in the Treaty, but also other parts of the adjacent country, in order to 
determine — not where the line must go to conform with the description in the Treaty 
— for that is deemed impracticable — but where it ought to be established, to comport 
best with the views of the parties at the time of making the treaty." (Mss., Porter to 
Adams, Feb. 12, 1822, in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, 
Envelop I, Folder 1.) 

The name appears as Philipeaux in these instructions, but other documents spell 
it Phelipeaux. 

-I I 
U H 

UJ z 

h o 

< I- 

2 Q 




Q W 





- z 



</> < 


Q < 
Z z 

< o 

. < 
a z 



be situated, and if any such be found, ascertain by the most easy and 
expeditious means the shape and extent of them, as well as of the isles 
Royal and Phelipeaux, and also their geographical position, either by 
astronomical observations, or by triangles connecting them with the 
main shore or other islands, whose position is known. 

"After passing Lake Superior, ascertain the position of the Long 
Lake, or (if no lake of that name is to be found) 202 the chain of waters 
supposed to be referred to in the Treaty, by that designation. Should 
you discover (as you probably will) that these waters do not communi- 
cate with Lake Superior, ascertain what rivers or waters, divided by a 
height of land, and emptying one into Lake Superior, and the other 
into the Lake of the Woods, approximate most nearly. Fix the latitude 
and longitude of their points of approximation, and perambulate these 
waters downwards, observing their courses and distances, and also the 
islands in them, their situation and extent. Fix the latitudes and longi- 
tudes at which these rivers communicate with the respective lakes. 

"As to the Lake of the Woods, make such rapid surveys of its shores 
and islands as upon examination thereof you may deem necessary to 
a fair designation of the boundary." 

They were also to determine the location of the most northwestern 
point of the Lake of the Woods mentioned in the Treaty of 1783, a 
point vastly important as determining the location of the boundary 
west from the Lake of the Woods. "In fixing the latitude and longitude 
of the most northwestern point of the Lake of the Woods," continue 
the instructions, "great care and accuracy must be observed. 

"As regards the other geographical points, mentioned in these in- 
structions, you will determine them with ordinary certainty. . . . 

"After perambulating and ascertaining the approximating waters, 
between Lake Superior and the Lake of the Woods, if any doubt should 
be entertained by you as to the direction which the boundary ought to 
take, we wish to be advised of it as early as practicable, in order that 
we (the Commissioners) may proceed, if necessary, to that place to 
determine such difficulty. 

"It is expected of the Agents that they will be prompt and vigilant 
in supplying all the wants of the surveyors and of their parties, and 
that they will at all times, whether present or absent, assist them with 
their advice." 

Unfortunately the Agents, and following their opinions the Com- 
missioners, disagreed from the first regarding the rules under which 
this work was to be conducted. Barclay, the English Commissioner, 

202 The difficulty proved to be finding too many Long Lakes. 


strongly held 203 that the same rules "ought to govern them in the 
present boundary under the Seventh Article, in every portion thereof, 
particularly in the Neebish Channels, 204 as in all other parts which have 
been agreed upon." He averred that he had given his assent to the line, 
settled under the Sixth Article of the Treaty of Ghent, "only under the 
confident expectation that the line under the Seventh Article would be 
determined according to the same rules." He had anticipated that 
those rules, while depriving England of certain places covered by 
Article VI would give her in compensation St. George's Island. 205 

Porter, on the other hand, insisted that "the whole line of boundary 
from St. Regis to the water communication between lakes Huron and 
Superior had been determined without the aid of any pre-established 
rules or principles, excepting that which required that the islands 
should not be divided." 206 And Delafield, as has been shown, had argued 
that rules should be applied only "with such departures therefrom as 
the necessities of the case and the interests of the respective govern- 
ments may require." Judging, quite properly, from the reports of his 
Agent, Major Delafield, 207 Porter was confident that St. George's 
Island belonged within the territory of the United States, under the 
terms of the Peace of 1783, and could not be alienated by the plea that 
certain rules had been observed under the Sixth Article. And, as Dela- 
field's surveys furnished new evidence in favor of America's claims, he 
insisted that the boundary should be drawn along the channel which 
divides the island from the British or eastern shore, and thus place St. 
George's Island within the territories of the United States. 208 The 
British Commissioner persisted in his views, and, in consequence of 

803 Doc. No. 451, House Docs. Vol. 11, 25th Cong., 2nd Sess. p. 63. 

204 The Middle Neebish Channel, which runs on the west side of St. George's 
Island (Doc. No. 451, House Docs. Vol. II, 25th Cong., 2nd Sess. p. 99). 

206 With his elaborate report of October 25, 1827, Barclay sent several depositions 
to prove disputed points. One by David Thompson, Astronomer and Surveyor under 
the 6th and 7th Articles of the Treaty of Ghent, said: "St. George's island, intersected 
by a line as near as possible equidistant from the opposite main shores, has its greatest 
part on the British side of the said line." (Doc. No. 451 House Docs. Vol. 11, 25th 
Cong., 2nd Sess., p. 119.) 

206 (House Docs. Vol. 11, Doc. 451, 25th Cong., 2d Sess. p. 9.) The Mss. from which 
this part of the House Documents was printed is missing from General Porter's papers, 
in the National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 1. 

207 The long, elaborate arguments of Joseph Delafield, for America, and the replies 
of the British Agent, J. Hale, upon the question of ownership of the islands, and the 
course of the line in the communication between lakes Huron and Superior appear 
on pp. 51-108 of the Journal delivered to John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, on 
July 24, 1822, by Joseph Delafield, and signed by him as Agent (text: Mss. in Na- 
tional Archives, marked "Treaty of Ghent, Art. 6"). 

208 Barclay's Report, Doc. No. 451, House Docs., Vol. 1 1, 25th Cong., 2nd Sess. p. 4. 


this difference, unanimity was lacking concerning the terms under 
which the Commission was operating under Article VII. 

The full details of the surveys appear in the Journal, with important 
supplementary details in Major Delafield's Diary which follows, and 
are too voluminous to be presented here, save in so far as they are 
needed to show what parts of the final boundary were determined 
under Delafield's personal direction. "Having agreed upon parts only 
of the boundary proposed to be established under the Seventh Article 
of the Treaty of Ghent," says the Report of the British Commissioner, 
Anthony Barclay, 209 "and . . . disagreed as to other parts, . . . they 
now proceed to commit to the journal the result of their deliberations, 
by describing and declaring the course of the boundary" in such a 
way as to show exactly where agreement and disagreement lay. The 
Journal shows agreement as to half of the line, that is the part extend- 
ing from the middle of the St. Mary's River, one mile above the head 
of St. George's Island, westwardly through the middle of that river, 
between the points Iroquois and Gros Cap, on the opposite shores at 
the head of St. Mary's River, 210 and into the entrance of Lake Su- 
perior. 211 The Commission, however, disagreed regarding the other 
half of the line, namely, "from the termination thereof under the 6th 
article of the Treaty of Ghent, at a point in the Neebish channel, 212 
near Muddy Lake, to another point in the middle of St. Mary's River, 
about one mile above St. George's or Sugar Island." The British Com- 
missioner was of the opinion that the line should be conducted from 
the before-mentioned terminating point of the boundary line under the 
6th Article, "to the division of the channel at or near the head of St. 

209 House Docs. Vol. 11, 25th Cong. 2d Sess. Doc 451, p. 43. 

210 La Riviere de St. Marie was the name given in the memorials of the early French 
explorers (Doc. 451, House Docs. Vol. 11, 25th Cong. 2d Sess. p. 96). 

211 Section 16, of the British Commissioner's report, shows agreement on the line 
from the middle of St. Mary's River, about one mile above the head of said St. George's 
Island westwardly, through the middle of that river, between points Iroquois and Gros 
Cap, on the opposite main shores, at the head of St. Mary's River, and into the en- 
trance of Lake Superior. The Commissioners agreed that the line should then be 
run, by a straight course, through Lake Superior, passing to the south of the Isle 
Cariboeuf (the Journal of the Commission under Article VII is preserved among the 
manuscripts in the National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Art. VII; but, unlike that 
under Art. VI, it has not been bound in a connected volume, and it is therefore more 
convenient to refer to the printed extracts which appear in House Docs. Vol. 11, 
25th Cong., 2d Sess., Doc. 451). 

212 Porter's Report of December 12, 1827, speaks of "The last and greatest rapid, 
the Great Neebish, being opposite the head of Isle St. Joseph." — quoting James 
Ferguson, Principal Surveyor to the Commissioner under the 6th and 7th Articles of 
the Treaty of Ghent. House Documents, Vol. 11, 25th Cong. 2d Sess., Doc. 451, p. 31. 


Joseph's Island; 213 thence, between St. George's Island and St. Tam- 
many's Island, turning westwardly through the middle of the middle 
Neebish, proceeding up to and through the Sugar rapids, between the 
American main shore and the said St. George's Island, so as to appro- 
priate the said island to his Britannic Majesty." 214 The American Com- 
missioner, depending upon evidence furnished by Delafield and his sur- 
veyors, held, on the contrary that, "instead of directing it between 
St. George's and St. Tammany's islands and turning westward, so as to 
leave St. George's Island British," it should turn "eastwardly and 
northwardly around the lower end of St. George's or Sugar Island," so 
as to leave St. George's Island American. Such a course, the British 
Commissioner declared contrary to all previous rules and practices of 
the Commission, the "one solitary case in which the American Com- 
mission has objected to establishing the boundary in the middle, equi- 
distant from the main shores." 215 And he added this statement, which 
emphasizes his determination not to yield in this case as he had yielded 
in a disagreement under the 6th Article: "The undersigned cannot for 
a moment allow himself to believe that the friendly sovereign or state, 
to whom these differences are to be referred for decision, will permit 
the United States to insult the virtue of national good faith, that only 
law between empires, by granting their claim to that which they have 
virtually pledged to another." 216 

Clearly it was his opinion that, should it prove necessary to call in 
some outside power to arbitrate, St. George's Island would inevitably 
go to England. But Delafield and, following his reasoned opinion, 
Porter were equally confident that such an umpire would award that 
island to America, as indeed was later the case when Webster and 
Ashburton took up the dispute and settled it, as will be shown later. 217 

A second serious disagreement was over the ownership of the Neebish 
Islands. 218 Barclay announced that, subject to controlling orders from 

118 Neebish Island. 

114 The argument of the British Commissioner appears in House Docs. Vol. II, 
25th Cong., 2d Sess., Doc. 451, pp. 53-77. 

215 Delafield had, at the beginning of the work under Art. VII, clearly stated the 
view that formulae were dangerous, and that the Commission should be ready to 
disregard both rules and precedent when adherence to either would prevent justice; 
and he held that St. George's Island offered a case in point. 

216 Doc. No. 451, House Docs. Vol. 11, 25th Cong. 2d Sess., p. 64. 

217 Lord Ashburton, in 1842 accepted the chief points for which Delafield and Porter 
had contended. By the Webster-Ashburton Treaty St. George's Island became finally 
American. But it "ceded a land route on the American side of Long Lake by the 
Grand Portage, instead of adhering strictly to the water line of the treaty," as Dela- 
field's autobiography points out. 

218 The three channels formed by St. George's and St. Tammany's islands, are 


England, he would insist that two of the three should go to the British, 
and the main channel with them, and the geography of the region 
seemed to justify his claim. 219 Porter, however, refused such a settlement 
and the deadlock resulted, which was not broken, this question being 
left to be settled, like the fate of St. George's Island, by other agencies. 

Thus, with partial agreement as to part of the line and three very 
positive disagreements, one concerning rules and two regarding the 
division of islands, 220 Major Delafield attacked the greater problems 
of determining the line through Lake Superior and up to the Lake of 
the Woods. 221 The first part of the line offered little difficulty, as he was 
instructed not to attempt to determine the line across Lake Superior, 
vast in extent, by triangulation. 222 Article VII of the Treaty of Ghent 
under which he operated said simply "through Lake Superior north- 
ward of the Isles Royal and Phelipeaux," and the Commission's in- 
structions said, "it is not our intention to pursue the course of a trigo- 
nometrical survey." 

But, after reaching a point "northward of Isles Royal and Pheli- 
peaux," the way to the Long Lake presented problems of vast difficulty. 
He found Isle Royal, but not Phelipeaux, which, as was later shown, 
did not exist, at least by that name. Major Delafield's report to the 
Secretary of State on July 24, 1822, 223 clearly states the problems as he 
saw them from close at hand. "In respect to the Seventh Article of the 
Treaty," he said, "great pains have been taken by the Commissioners 
to effect its speedy execution. The American party now employed con- 

called respectively the Eastern Neebish, the Middle Neebish, and the Western Neebish. 
The Western is too shallow for any boats save small ones; the Middle is of good depth, 
but interrupted by shoals and rocks; the Eastern alone is adapted to large vessels 
trading between Huron and Sault de St. Marie, 14 miles from Lake Superior (House 
Docs. Vol. 11, 25th Cong. 2d Sess. Doc. No. 451, p. 54). 

218 The American Commission had claimed, on December 5, 1821, at Major 
Delafield's instigations (Journal of July 24, 1822, p. 46), Bois Blanc, Sugar and Stony 
islands, and the British the two latter. On December 8, 1821, the British Agent, Hale, 
had replied to the American claim. Major Delafield, as American Agent, had replied 
on Dec. II, 1821; the British again Dec. 12, 1821; and the American Agent again on 
Dec. 13, 182 1. 

220 "YVhen Barclay and Porter disagreed upon the question of the Neebish Islands," 
says, D. R. Moore (Canada and the U. S., 1815-1830, pp. 94 and 95), "nothing 
further was then done in regard to the boundary farther west than this point." 

221 Already the British had abandoned the old Grand Portage route, but as yet 
they had not advanced the idea that Long Lake lay at St. Louis River, far to the south. 

222 This line, as well as the line to the west of the Lake of the Woods, along the 49th 
parallel, has recently been established and carefully marked by the International 
Boundary Commission. 

223 (Delafield to John Quincy Adams, July 24, 1822, Mss. in National Archives, 
Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 2.) Delafield thought that the 


sists of a principal surveyor, and one assistant, who is also the draughts- 
man, with a few batteau-men to conduct their boats and provisions. 

"I accompanied our party to Lake Superior, in which neighborhood 
they had commenced their work, and before I left them every arrange- 
ment was made to subsist them during the present, and the summer of 
the next year, in the Northwest Territory. With the supplies afforded 
and contemplated, together with the provisional arrangement I was 
enabled to effect through the kindness of the agent of the American 
Fur Company (in case of accidents) at all their trading posts, I do not 
doubt the maintenance of this party in the Indian country for the time 
specified; and should the British Surveyors render an equal service, 
and, together with our own, prove successful in the performance of 
the duty expected of them, there is a well-founded belief that the sur- 
veys and all essential observations and information will be obtained 
previous to their return. 

"The passage from Lake Superior to Long Lake, mentioned in the 
treaty (which probably means Pigeon Bay), may demand more time 
and labor to explore than has been apprehended. The old Grand 
Portage route has of late been abandoned by the British traders, and a 
more northern route assumed. Whether the one or the other of these 
routes, or an intermediate one, is to be the boundary line, can only be 
ascertained by explorations of much hardship and labor, on account 
of the formation of the country which divides the waters that flow into 
Lake Superior from those that flow toward and into the Lake of the 
Woods. The Southern or Fond du Lac route 224 does not seem to be in 
question, although it has, by some persons, been improvidently sug- 
gested. From the Rainy Lake to the Lake of the Woods the water com- 
munication is said to be direct, and the greatest task to encounter there 
will be to produce, in a summary way, a chart of the latter lake suffi- 
ciently accurate to designate the line through the numerous islands it 
contains. The exact but laborious trigonometrial survey heretofore 
conducted it has been determined to abandon, and the surveyors are 
instructed to ascertain the desired information by a more rapid method 
(as described in the Journal) with sufficient certainty for the just pur- 
poses of the Commission. Besides these requisitions of the surveyors, 

island known as Pat6 was what the Commissioners of 1783 called Phelipeaux: but the 
International Boundary Commission has selected Keweenaw Peninsula, artificially 
made into an island, on the Southern shores of Lake Superior, as Phelipeaux. 

884 Fond du Lac, was the west bay of Lake Superior, into which the St. Louis River, 
by far the largest stream which that lake receives, empties. By the St. Louis River 
there is a route to the interior country, to Lac La Pluie or Rainy Lake and the Lake 
of the Woods (House Docs. Vol. 11, Doc. 451, p. 35). 


there will be several points of latitude and longitude to be determined, 
and some of them with great care and accuracy, particularly that of the 
northwest point of the Lake of the Woods. 

"I have mentioned these several objects to show that, although there 
is a reasonable prospect that the work may be perfected in another 
season, yet there may be obstacles which our imperfect knowledge of 
the country must keep concealed until our own investigations shall 
disclose them. From the line of trading posts, but little can be learned 
that is satisfactory of this part of the Northwest Territory; and it will 
sometimes occur that the surveyors must explore a section that is un- 
known and even untrod but by the hunter. I think there has already 
been made the best prediction of the time it may consume." 

On September 24, 1822, he reported again to the Secretary of State, 225 
this time from Boston, after a season spent in search of Long Lake: 
"Since I had last the honor to address you, I have made known to the 
American Commissioners that the Long Lake, mentioned in the Treaty 
of 1783 (which lake is unknown at the present day by that name), 
is a sheet of water or passage near the Grand Portage from Lake Superior, 226 
and is so laid down and described upon the map used for the purposes 
of that treaty, as appears by the same in your office. 

"I have also communicated this fact to our surveyor employed in 
the northwest. 

"My last accounts from him state that he should be at Lac la Pluie 
by the middle of August last, and that on his way there he should take 
the Old Grand Portage route, which is the Long Lake route, as now properly 
understood. The British party were to proceed by the same route. 221 I am much 
gratified to have it in my power to give these particulars, because there 
is no longer any serious question open as to the general course that the 
line is intended to be run, and because it is now more certain that 
upon the return of the surveyors, the next season, the Board will be 
possessed of all necessary information to determine the doubts, under 
the 7th article of the Treaty, and designate the line." 

These documents prove that, in September, 1822, after a season 
spent chiefly in search of the Long Lake mentioned in the Treaty of 
1783, both the Americans and the British were proceeding upon the 
common theory that the line was at the opening of the Old Grand 
Portage route, namely at Pigeon River, and that the Fond du Lac 
route, far to the south was considered, as he said, not to be in question. 

225 Joseph Delafield to J. Q.. Adams, Sept. 24, 1822 (text: Mss. in National Archives, 
Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 2). 

226 Ital. mine. 

227 Ital. mine. 


Unfortunately, however, this common opinion was promptly aban- 
doned by the British surveyors, who soon began to direct their atten- 
tion to the Fond du Lac and the St. Louis River, a route which, if es- 
tablished would add enormously to British territory. "I first learned to 
my surprise from Mr. Ferguson, our principal surveyor, who with his 
party had passed the winter at Fort William," comments Delafield, 
"that the British surveyors instead of proceeding by the Old Portage 
route from Lake Superior, which had always been considered the point 
of departure from Lake Superior, not only by our Commission but by 
all geographers and the public, had abandoned that route and gone in 
search of another far south by the Fond du Lac, where it was known 
there was also an indirect water communication with the Lake of the 
Woods. They conducted their explorations and surveys by that route 
and finally the British Agent claimed it as the boundary intended by 
the Treaty of 1783. As Mr. Ferguson had previously commenced his 
surveys by the Grand Portage, I advised his continuance of it by the 
water courses to the Lake of the Woods, which was accordingly done. 

"When I joined the surveyors in the Lake of the Woods, in the sum- 
mer of 1823, they had nearly finished their surveys and were about to 

The Diary adds this interesting comment 228 upon the important 
point of determining which was the most northwestern point of the 
Lake of the Woods, important because it was to determine where the 
boundary westward of the Lake of the Woods should start: "The N. W. 
point of the Lake of the W r oods we find is not an easy point to ascertain. 
The truth is that the N. W. end of the Lake is indented by very deep 
bays. The N. shore has still larger and deeper bays, so that to find the 
most N. W. point, all these bays and inlets must be explored. ... A 
question too must be raised, by what rule is the most N. W. point to 
be ascertained. ... It is very certain that the N. W. point will be North 
more than half a degree probably of Par. N. 49 , so that the line to be 
drawn south again to Par. 49 will have a curious effect here. 229 If it 
is due S. it will interfere with and give back islands that this Com- 
mission will, I presume, dispose of when they run the line through the 
middle of the lake. 230 To run S. to 49 along the Lake shore appears to 

128 Joseph Delafield's Diary, Vol. 12 of the Mss., p. 1, date August 23, 1823. 

229 It is interesting to compare, at this point, the words of the Webster-Ashburton 
Treaty: "the most northwestern point being a latitude 49°23'55" North, and in longi- 
tude 95° 1 4/38" west from the observatory at Greenwich; thence, according to exist- 
ing treaties, due south to its intersection with the 49th parallel of north latitude, and 
along that parallel to the Rocky Mountains" (Article II, Webster-Ashburton Treaty) . 

230 There was no provision that here the Commission should adopt the middle of 
the lake rule, and, furthermore, if the line was to run due south from the most north- 


be the just and reasonable mode. The observations made for latitude 
will be inserted hereafter. " 

Major Delafield started east at 3 p.m. on August 3, 1823, having 
finished his work at the Lake of the Woods, so far as the season per- 
mitted. "Pleasant sensations," he confided to his Diary "ensue the 
performance of an arduous undertaking when required by duty." He 
had made provision to have the work continued in his absence, and 
refers to it in a few words in his Autobiography which then goes on with 
the exploration of the Kamanistegua. "I left Ferguson," adds Dela- 
field, "to close up some unfinished work and accompanied by Mr. 
Whistler returned to Lake Superior by the new route of traders known 
as the Dog River or Kamanistegua 231 route, Mr. Whistler sketching 
as we returned as good a topographical map of the route as our rapid 
voyage permitted. I now felt it incumbent to make an offset to the 
British claim by the Fond du Lac route and devoted my time to this 
object. The question was to be determined, what was meant by the 
'Long Lake of the Treaty of 1783'? In Mitchell's Map it was laid down 
at the 'Grand Portage.' The British Agent ignored the Long Lake of 
Mitchell's Map, and I was thus left at liberty also to abandon it. The 
map upon which the boundary line was traced by the Commission- 
ers of the Treaty of 1783 could not be found. 232 It thus became in- 
cumbent to prove the identity of that map, the Mitchell Map; but, 
knowing that the British Commissioner would persist in his Agent's 
claim to the Fond du Lac route, I searched for evidence that the Long 
Lake of the Commissioners of 1 783 was the Long Lake of the Dog River 
route; and succeeded by the evidence of various British maps, made by 
the geographers of the King, to substantiate this fact so that the Ameri- 
can Commissioner (General Porter) decided to sustain my claim to the 
Dog River route." 2 ' 3 

As the effectiveness of such an answer to the British Fond du Lac plan 
would depend upon the support of the State Department, Delafield, 
sent the following letter to the Secretary of State. 234 

western point of the Lake of the Woods to the 49th parallel, it of course had to run 
along the shore, although by so doing it would cut off certain peninsulas which were 
integral parts of the British mainland. A glance at any modern detail map of the 
Lake of the Woods will show points detached from the neighboring land of the same 
color, sad relic of the results of the complications referred to by the Journal. 

131 The spelling is taken from Delafield's maps. Elsewhere it is often Kamanistiguia, 
Kaministikwia, etc. 

" 2 For the story of these famous Red-Line maps see p. 3 of present Vol. 

us Autobiography. 

'"Joseph Delafield to John Quincy Adams, October 9, 1823 (text: Mss. in Na- 
tional Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 2). 


"Detroit, October 9, 1823. 
Hon. John Quincy Adams, 

Secretary of State 

I have the honor to address you, immediately upon my return from the 
Indian Territory, in the belief that the earliest information concerning the 
execution of the 7th article of the Treaty of Ghent would be desired. As early 
in the spring as the Great Lakes were navigable, I commenced a voyage to 
explore the boundary line to the extreme northwest point of the Lake of the 
Woods, and to be present with the surveyors who had remained over winter 
in the interior. Before I overtook them, it was very manifest that the surveys 
essential to the demarkation of the line could not possibly be finished before 
the beginning of another winter. This opinion was confirmed when I joined the 
surveyors and, although the results of their labor give evidence of industry, 
there remains to be explored and surveyed a section lying between Lake 
Superior and the Lake of the Woods, that will occupy at least another season 
of diligent application. 

The canoe route into the Indian country, from Lake Superior (which is 
the only way by which a party carrying provisions can enter it) proves not to 
be entirely by the direct water communication. On the contrary, the traders 
have opened the easiest route, and wherever the little lakes (which are very 
numerous) could be readily approached by portages, and when by so doing 
they could avoid the more circuitous line of direct water communication, 
sometimes rendered both difficult and dangerous on account of its long and 
numerous rapids, they have done so. There is, nevertheless, an entire line of 
water communication from Lake Superior, ascending westward to the height 
of land, and descending westward from the height of land, to the Lake of the 
Woods. At the height of land the sources of waters approximate very nearly, so 
that no difficulty I apprehend in adjusting the line can arise from this in- 

It is the deviation of the canoe route from the direct water communication 
(a fact not heretofore of my knowledge, nor now known to most of the traders 
familiar with the country) that explains not only how the difficulty of the sur- 
veyors is increased, but also how my former conjectures as to the completion 
of the work were founded in error. The peculiar formation of the country 
adjacent to the boundary line, and next west to Lake Superior, satisfactorily 
accounts for the ignorance of the traveller in relation to the water courses. It 
consists exclusively of broken chains of highlands, or mountain ridges, extend- 
ing in different directions, having lakes and water courses in every valley. 
Portages connecting these waters, whenever they are interrupted, whether 
entirely by highland or partially by cataracts and rapids, form the only pos- 
sible route for the traveller, so that his observations are necessarily confined 
to the valleys through which he passes. 

This route deviates in two important instances from the direct water 
communication. Each of these deviations leaves to the south of the direct 
communication, or proper boundary line, a chain of small lakes, undoubtedly 
within the limits of the United States, although claimed and used by the 
Hudson's Bay Company, as the limit between the two countries. Indeed, the 


canoe route has hitherto been considered by both parties as the boundary, 
because, as before stated, it is the only known passage into the territory. 

The adjustments of this line will add considerable territory to the United 
States; and I am not acquainted as yet with any subject about which there can 
be a graver difference of opinion, nor about which we can reasonably prefer 
conflicting and disputable claims. 

Feeling however quite inadequate to impart any true understanding of this 
section of the country, of the questions that might be agitated, of the work 
done, or remaining to be done, without a map or sketch, I beg leave for the 
present to defer any further description. 

When I arrive at the end of my journey I will be enabled to prepare such 
a sketch, and will avail myself of the earliest opportunity to forward it. 

I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect 
Yr. most obedient servant 

Joseph Delafield." 

Some seven weeks later, in accordance with his promise, he sent to 
the Secretary of State "a sketch" of this western country, and a long 
letter of thirteen closely written pages describing it. 235 

"It having been ascertained," he said, "that by the Long Lake, 
mentioned in the Treaty, was meant the mouth of Pigeon River empty- 
ing into Lake Superior, our surveyors proceeded early in the season 
of 1822 to enter the Indian Territory by the Old Grand Portage route. 
This portage is from Lake Superior to the Pigeon River, and intersects 
it above its great falls and rapids. The Grand Portage was formerly used 
by the British traders, and was their only passage to the interior. 
Twenty years ago it was abandoned by them, upon the supposition 
that it was within the limits of the United States, and they discovered 
and adopted a more northern route, ascending the river Kamanistegua, 
which empties into Lake Superior forty miles n.e. from the Grand 
Portage; and they then established their principal trading depot there, 
known as Fort William. 

"The American traders enter the Indian country by a more southern 
route, through the Fond du Lac country. 

"Our party ascending the Pigeon River, following the canoe route, 
and conducting their surveys as they progressed, ascertained when they 
arrived at the west end of Lac a la Montagne that the water communi- 
cation was interrupted, and that they were no longer upon the chain 
of lakes and straits that supply the discharge of Pigeon River. They con- 

m (Delafield to J. Q. Adams, Nov. 28, 1823, text: Mss. in National Archives 
Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder a.) The sketch is filed with the 
letter and shows in great detail the sections of this western country of chief concern 
to the present narrative. 


sequently made a portage from Lac a la Montagne to the northward 
and arrived at Arrow Lake. Following Arrow Lake westward, it proved 
to communicate with the Lake of the Height of Land, and thus directly 
to the Height from which it derives its sources. To the eastward it was 
also ascertained that Arrow Lake discharged itself by a river marked 
on the map Arrow River, which makes a junction with Pigeon River, 
and thus forms an entire communication from Lake Superior to the 
Height of Land. 

''The party, considering it more important to advance, did not 
return to explore the descent of Arrow River, so that it still remains as 
part of the unfinished work. This deviation from the canoe route 
caused one of the changes to take place in the establishment of the line, 
by the decision of which will be added to the territory of the United 
States the chain of lakes lying between Lac a la Rose and the Pigeon 
River, together with the country intermediate to the two chains of 

"The Height of Land, to which they had now arrived, is a barrier 
that divides the waters, and from whence, they flow both east and west. 
It ranges northward and southward as far as I have any knowledge of 
the country, and is the ridge that bounds the great valley of the St. 
Lawrence in the west. There is of course no such thing as a water com- 
munication 236 from Lake Superior to the Lake of the Woods. At the 
Height the two little lakes that lie on either side both emerge from the 
same valley, and in the spring of the year there is nearly a confluence 
of their waters; so that the course the line would naturally take over 
the Height is so evident that it will obviate, I should think, any em- 
barrassment on account of this interruption. 

"The party having crossed the Height, again commenced their sur- 
veys by the canoe route and advanced to Lac Sais-a-gin-e-gaw. Here 
was found another obstruction. The voyagers made a portage from Lac 
Sais-a-gin-e-gaw to Lac a la Priarie, 237 but instead of this being in the 
line of communication, Lac a la Priarie actually discharges eastward 
into Lac Sais-a-gin-e-gaw, 238 whereas the line would follow the lakes 
and rivers that must have a direct discharge westward toward the Lake 
of the Woods. Lac Sais-a-gin-e-gaw was then thoroughly explored, 
and a river of considerable size was found flowing from it westward. 
This river was filled with numerous rapids and cataracts by which no 
carrying places were known, and the party was obliged to proceed by 
the old route, leaving this deviation also to be ascended upon another 

236 The term used in the Treaty of 1783. 

837 i.e. Lac a la Prairie. 

238 The accompanying map, however, shows land between the ends of these lakes. 


occasion. The Indians stated that Lac Sais-a-gin-e-gaw discharged, by 
the river alluded to, through a chain of rivers and lakes, into a lake 
marked on the map Sturgeon Lake, and thence by the new road, as it 
is called, into Lac a la Croix, where is the junction of the old Grand 
Portage route with the present canoe route of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany. It could not be ascertained that any white person, or Indian, 
had ever made the voyage of this deviation from the canoe route. 
Without a guide, and with laden canoes, it was thought best not to 
hazard the remainder of the season in an uncertain attempt to descend 
this river; and in fact it would have been to hazard the safety of the 
party, in as much as the cataracts that everywhere obstructed the rivers 
and straights running through the valleys, bounded by precipitous 
cliffs and highlands, are frequently approached to the very brink before 
the traveller is conscious of their existence. For this reason these un- 
explored passes must either be ascended or surveyed in the winter 

"Knife Lake, White Wood Lake, 239 and Crooked Lake have been 
heretofore considered and asserted to be upon the line of direct water 
communication. It will be seen by the map that they are all within 
the limits of the United States, adopting the belief that the discharge of 
Lac Sais-a-gin-e-gaw is into Sturgeon Lake. 

"Returning to the canoe route, the party advanced from Lac 
Sais-a-gin-e-gaw to Lac a la Croix; from thence to the Lake of the 
Woods there is an entire and indisputable water communication. 

"The whole distance has been explored to the northwest point of 
the Lake of the Woods. From Lake Superior to Lake Nemecan, the 
route has been as accurately surveyed, with the exception of the two 
deviations described, as is desired. Lac a la Pluie and the Lake of 
the Woods have been circumnavigated. Many points of latitude have 
been determined throughout and especially in the Lake of the Woods. 

"The Lake of the W r oods is a large lake glutted with islands. It is of 
an extremely irregular shape and, following its bays, may be four 
hundred and fifty miles in circumference — Lac a la Pluie is not quite 
so large. It is also indented with numerous deep bays, and also con- 
tains several thousand islands. The upper lakes are similarly filled with 
islands. Lac a la Croix, by its survey, contains four hundred and eighty- 
nine islands, and most of the others in proportion. The islands are 
entirely of rock, supporting in their fissures a stunted growth of trees, 
and are of no value in any sense. 

"The work remaining to be done, in the Indian Territory, according 

"or Dry Berry Lake" is added in the sketch. 


to my view of the subject, consists of the survey or exploration of the 
Arrow River from Pigeon River to Arrow Lake: of the river that dis- 
charges from Lac Sais-a-gin-e-gaw, and of the lakes and rivers be- 
tween that and Lac a la Croix. The Lake of the Woods, and the Lac 
a la Pluie, having been circumnavigated, and their area ascertained, 
it is only requisite to determine what islands are contiguous to a line 
drawn through the middle of them, and, their positions being noted on 
the chart, the survey of the remainder is superfluous. To this labor in 
the interior is to be added the more precise ascertainment of the posi- 
tion of certain islands known to be in the body of Lake Superior, and 
which are inaccessible in canoes; and a section of the river St. Mary's 
about the falls where are a few islands of some importance. Thus much 
will finish the surveys under the 7th Article of the Treaty. . . ." 

This letter called attention to the fact that the British, at the time, 
were using the Kamanistegua route for entering the interior, and the 
Americans the Fond du Lac route. And it also made quite clear the 
fact that Delafield was planning to claim the Kamanistegua route as 
the route of the boundary line, because this would add to American 
territory "the chain of lakes lying between Lac a la Rose and the 
Pigeon River, together with the country intermediate to the two 
chains of lakes." But, before he took that decision, the British had de- 
cided to claim the Fond du Lac route as the route of the boundary 
because, as Delafield believed, this would give to them that same chain 
of lakes. 

Although Major Delafield had reached the northwestern point of the 
Lake of the Woods before he overtook his surveyors, and was therefore 
uninformed of the results of their observations when he wrote this letter, 
he confidently assured the Secretary of State that "the N. W. point of 
the Lake of the Woods proves to be further north than we had been led 
to believe, and is about Lat. N. 49 45'. 240 It will also be near the place 
where the Winnepee 241 River issues from the Lake of the Woods, and near 
to the Portage du Rat which is the carrying place from the Lake of the 
Woods, and the communication of the Hudson's Bay Company with 
all their posts in that portion of the country. 

"The northwest point of the Lake of the Woods seems to be of very 

240 On Aug. 23, 1823, he was of the opinion that it would prove to be more than half 
a degree north of 49 , Diary Aug. 3, 1823. The second article of the Webster-Ashburton 
Treaty later described it as 49°23'55" north, and in longitude 95°i4'38" west of 
Greenwich. The Commissioners under the VII Article finally placed the monument 
marking the most N. W. point of Lake of the Woods at 49°23 / 48 // (Porter to Clay, 
Oct. 18, 1826. Text: National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Enve- 
lope I, Folder 1). 

241 Apparently the Winnipeg River. 


considerable consequence for other reasons besides that of its being a 
new point of departure for the western boundary. 242 Nor is it a point 
discoverable as readily as might be supposed. The extreme irregularity 
of the lake, and very deep inlets about its northwest end, render it 
questionable what may be its most northwestern point, but I forbear to 
agitate a question that may possibly not excite a doubt in the minds 
of others. It is at this place, however, that the only doubt can be 
raised (in my humble opinion) to the precise direction of all that part 
of the boundary line embraced by the Seventh Article of the Treaty. 

"Upon our return from the Lake of the Woods, I separated from the 
surveyors at Lac a la Croix, to explore the route now used by the Hud- 
son's Bay Company, commonly called the new road, intending to join 
them again at Lake Superior. I found the water communication from 
Lac a la Croix to the Height of Land to be through a similar chain of 
lakes and straights, and the country of the same description of mountain 
ranges as the other route, the valleys only being much larger, and con- 
sequently there is more earth. From the Height of Land by the Kam- 
anistegua River to Lake Superior, the water communication is direct, 
and the country far more open, but still mountainous. The rivers and 
straights are obstructed by very bad and numerous rapids and falls, 
and there is less water than by the old Grand Portage route. In all 
directions the country is intersected by lakes and straights. I found 
that west of the Height the communication was entirely obstructed in 
one instance, as by the old route, the course being over a little lake 
from which there was no discharge. Whether or not a direct communi- 
cation could be discovered in this region is not known, but it is very 
probable that it might, with the exception of the Height of Land. Since 
the way is pointed out by which we are to leave Lake Superior, namely 
through Long Lake, it has become unnecessary to explore in any other 
direction, and I hastened to arrive at Lake Superior. The British party 
spent some time in exploring for a route south of the old Grand Portage, 
but failed in the discovery. . . . 

"As to the nature of the country beyond Lake Superior, that part of 
it which is adjacent to the boundary line is most strongly characterized 
by a formation that is, I believe, quite peculiar, for its extent, to the 
northwest territory. I mean by mountains and valleys, or rocks and 
water, to the exclusion of plains and of earth. There are occasionally 
between Lake Superior and Lac a la Pluie small places of recent 

142 Delafield's Diary, under August 3, 1823 explains: "It is of all importance to the 
H(udson's) B(ay) Company whether we extend our jurisdiction to the Wmnepeg (its 
entrance) or not. The portage probably can be made elsewhere. The ascertainment of 
the N. W. point must settle this question." 


alluvion, about the mouths of rivers, or in narrow defiles where may 
be found soil enough to drive a tent pin, but it is not a frequent 
occurrence. ..." 

It was his opinion that "the surveys will be finished the ensuing 
summer," an opinion which President Monroe, whether independently 
or after reading Delafield's letter, re-echoed in his message of December 
2, 1823, 243 in the words: "The Commissioners under the Sixth and 
Seventh Articles of the Treaty of Ghent, having successfully closed their 
labors in relation to the Sixth, have proceeded to discharge of those 
relating to the Seventh. Their progress in the extensive survey required 
for the performance of their duties, justifies the presumption that it will 
be completed in the ensuing year. ..." 

As usual, after the surveying season was over Major Delafield had 
gone east, as has been already said, to organize his results and edit his 
reports. On February 24, 1824, at Albany, his report as Agent was 
presented to the Board, dated February 21, 1824. 244 It offers to prove, 
if the Board wishes proof, "that the boundary line of 1 783 was described 
upon, and by the aid of, Mitchell's Map of North America published 
in 1775: 245 (and) that this map shows the position of the places named 
and consequently the route of the boundary intended to be fixed con- 
formably to the written description. 

"It seems to be conceded at this Board that the position of Isle Royal 
is known, and that the position of Long Lake is unknown, or question- 
able. Long Lake is described upon Mitchell's Map, as well as Isle Royal, 
and we have the same and no better authority for one than the other. 246 
In short, the indisputable position of Long Lake appears to be so plainly 
indicative of the route prescribed by the treaty that the undersigned 
has considered himself not only precluded from the right he might 
otherwise have maintained of following the direct water communica- 
tion by the river Kamanistegua from Lake Superior, but that he still 
feels compelled to adhere to it as the proper point of departure, and 
shall not consider himself at liberty to assume any other until Long 
Lake shall be declared to be an imaginary place. . . . The maps pro- 
duced by the surveyors do not show that they have explored or dis- 
covered any entire water communication from Lake Superior to the 
Lake of the Woods. That such communication does, however, exist 247 

243 Text: Amer. St. Papers, Foreign Affairs, Second Series, V, 245-250. Cit. p. 246. 

244 Text: Mss. in National Archives. Treaty of Ghent , Arts. VI and VII, Envelope 
Folder 2. 

246 This apparently a clerical error as the Mitchell Map used in 1 783 bears date 1 755. 

246 Mitchell's Map of 1 755 places Long Lake at the mouth of Pigeon River. 

847 He admits "an intervening swamp at the Height of Land", however, as pre- 


... is known to the undersigned, principally by personal observations 
and partially by information received from respectable and intelligent 
persons." He expressed the opinion that "the routes or portions of 
routes which . . . might be abandoned . . . are . . . the northern route 
by the river Kamanistegua" and the "southern route by the Fond du 
Lac, or any other place north or south of Long Lake near the old Grand 
Portage." 248 

This report seems to make clear the fact that Delafield, even after 
reporting upon his discovery of the Kamanistegua route, believed that 
the makers of the Peace of 1 783 intended the line to pass westward up 
Pigeon River, as it was ultimately established by the Webster- Ashburton 
Treaty. 249 Apparently, though convinced that the Kamanistegua route 
conformed to the specifications of the treaties, he was ready to abandon 
the far-north contention if the British would abandon the far-south 

The report of the British Agent, J. Hale, 250 signed the same day de- 
clared England unable to dismiss Long Lake as an "imaginary place," 
or to recommend "the abandonment at present of any of the water 
communications to the north of Lake Superior, because the decision 
of the boundary finally to be fixed must rest altogether upon the point 
of departure from that lake, a point which cannot be determined till 
the existence and position of the Long Lake be ascertained." 

Two days after these reports were presented to the Board, Com- 
missioner Porter reported to the Secretary of State, John Quincy 
Adams as follows: 251 

"Albany, February 26, 1824 


The boundary Commission under the 7th Article of the Treaty of Ghent 
closed a session at this place two days ago. The Agent, Major Delafield, . . . 
will have the honor to inform you of our progress, and of the prospects of 
bringing this business ... to close. It has been a matter of much regret with 

venting complete water communication. 

248 Proceedings of the Board held at Albany, Feb. 24, 1824. Mss. in National 
Archives, pp. 8-9. 

249 The Second Article of the Webster-Ashburton Treaty defines the boundary as 
running "through the middle of the sound between Isle Royale and the northwestern 
mainland, to the mouth of the Pigeon River, and up the said river to and through 
the north and south Fowl Lakes to the height of land between Lake Superior and 
the Lake of the Woods" etc. 

260 Text of Hale's report of February 21, 1824 in National Archives, Treaty of 
Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Folio I, part 2. 

281 Text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, 
Folder 1. 


Major Delafield and myself, that the British Commissioner and Agent should 
have differed so widely from us. . . . The description in the Treaty of 1 783 of 
the boundary between the river St. Marie and the Lake of the Woods betrays 
the great ignorance which then prevailed. . . . The British gentlemen seem to 
suppose, or at least hope, that they may be able to establish a line between 
Lake Superior and the Lake of the Woods considerably to the south of the 
route which we think is evidentiy indicated by the Treaty. ... A rigid adherence 
to our own views would probably break up the Commission, and we have 
therefore thought better to yield in part to their wishes." 252 

The nature of their concession seems clear from the Journal of the 
Board meeting of February 24, 1824, vvhich records instructions to the 
surveyors to "complete the surveys yet required along the water com- 
munication from the mouth of Pigeon River or its vicinity or Lake 
Superior, to the most northwestern point of the Lake of the Woods. . . , 253 
After the above work is completed, you may (if you have time and it 
appears necessary) make further examinations through the Fond du 
Lac. . . ." This was of course authorization, of a kind, by the Board for 
surveys on the Fond du Lac route. 254 But it proves that even yet there 
was substantial agreement on the Pigeon River route westward, al- 
though now each party had an alternative line ready to advance should 
that agreement fail in the end. The British hoped to start at Fond du 
Lac, and Delafield contemplated a start at the Kamanistegua. 

The idea of compromise failed to eventuate in actual compromise, 
and the maneuvering for positions and for territory continued, each 
side building up its case for its alternative route. 

Some eight months later, Joseph Delafield, as Agent of the United 
States, sent a memorial to the Commissioners, indicating his views as 
to what remained to be done, 255 and its contents justify the repetition, 
as it makes a definite compromise suggestion. 

"Montreal, October 25, 1824. 

"The Agent of the United States has the honor to ask that the Board 

852 "Major Delafield will hand over to the Auditor . . . the accounts." (Ibid.) 

253 (Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII.) It is a photostat 
copy from the original now in London. This same section of the Journal under Article 
VII shows Delafield's accounts of expenses, salaries, etc., for the expedition. 

264 At the Board meeting at Montreal, on October 28, 1824, "the British Com- 
missioner declared his intention to order his surveyors to explore a route far to the 
south of the Grand Portage viz: the Fond du Lac or St. Louis River route . . . The 
Commissioner of the United States refused to allow the same as a joint order. Thus, 
at a late date, the first avowal is made that the present operations were unsatisfactory, 
and for the first time that any doubts existed as to the course the boundary ought to 
take." (Delafield reporting on the Board meeting at Albany, in February, 1824. Text: 
Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 2.) 

855 This letter appears twice, in complete form, in Document No. 451, House 


do now proceed to determine the proper place of departure of the 
boundary line from Lake Superior to the northwest, with a view to 
supersede the necessity of any further surveys in that direction. 

"That the Long Lake intended by the Treaty of 1783, to which the 
line is to run from the north of Isle Royale, is a sheet of water now 
known by the name of Pigeon River, and is situated near the old Grand 
Portage; and that it is consequently the route intended to be described 
by the said treaty, he conceives is sufficiently substantiated by the 
following testimony, which he has the honor to present: 

'First, Mitchell's map of North America, published in 1755, under the 
sanction of the Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations. This map 
shows the place called Long Lake to be the mouth of Pigeon River (as now 
called), near the old Grand Portage. 

'That it was Mitchell's map upon which the boundary line was described 
by the Commissioners in 1783, as established by the following documents, 
which he begs may be filed with the records of the Commission. 

Joseph Delafield, 
Agent of the United States." 

The other "testimony" which he presented consisted of several 
letters intended to show that Mitchell's Map was used "through the 
whole negotiation" which produced the Treaty of 1783, and that the 
boundary lines of the United States were marked on that map. 256 

At the end of Document No. 45 1, 257 which contains the evidence 
above discussed, appear reproductions of several maps, each of which 
indicates but one direct and continuous water approach from Lake 
Superior to the Lake of the Woods, and that is marked Long Lake, 
or Long Lakes, in all except the first (1763), which pictures the water 
approach practically as do the others, but without naming it. These 
maps seem to leave little doubt that this was the course of the boundary 
line as intended by the Commissioners of 1783, and it follows Pigeon 
River. And this letter shows that Delafield, as late as October 25, 1824 
was still desirous of establishing that line, although he was preparing 
himself to advocate the Kamanistegua route should the Pigeon River 
be finally rejected by the British. 

The British Agent, Hale, made his reply to this argument, on October 
26, 1824, 258 admitting the soundness of Delafield's claims regarding 

Documents Vol. 11, 25th Cong., 2d Sess., on p. 77 and on p. 124. This Mss. is on 
file in the National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 2. 
256 He did not then have a copy of any one of the Red-Line maps already dis- 
cussed in this introduction. 

267 House Docs. 25th Cong., 2d Sess., Vol. II, p. 132. 

268 Text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, 
Folder 2. 


Mitchell's Map, but insisting that it deserved no credence because of 
its "numerous inaccuracies," notably respecting the Isles Phelipeaux 
and Long Lake, "to which the latter body of water laid down in the 
map bears no resemblance either in extent or shape." He used a state- 
ment by John Adams 259 to prove the use of Mitchell's Map by the 
Commissioners of 1783, but used it only to prove the unreliability of 
Mitchell's Map as an indication of the location of Long Lake. "Under 
these circumstances," he said, "where can the Commissioners now look 
for the Long Lake, through which the boundary is to run. After passing 

to the northward of the Isle Royale nothing like a Long Lake has 

yet been discovered. But information has been reported that further 
to the westward than has hitherto been surveyed a lake does exist 
more nearly answering the description of that sought for; and the 
undersigned suggests the expediency of that part of Lake Superior 
being further examined." Clearly, he was now intent upon persuading 
the Commission to accept the Fond du Lac route, but was not yet 
ready to advance that line as an ultimatum. An attempt to survey that 
route would greatly have delayed the conclusion of the Commission's 
activities, and Porter and Delafield both opposed the idea. 

These two memorials having been duly considered and filed, the 
Board, on that same October 26, 1824, "expressed the Commissioners' 
intention to postpone the determination of this question for the pres- 
ent." 260 And the next day, October 27, 1824, tne Y instructed the sur- 
veyors 261 to "employ the whole time of the ensuing winter in projecting 
and copying a series of plans or maps of their surveys under the Seventh 
Article of the Treaty of Ghent. "It is intended," said these instructions, 

168 "Auteuil, near Paris, 

October 25, 1 784 

In writing upon the subject of the line between Massachusetts and Nova Scotia 
he (John Adams) observes as follows: 

We had before us, through the whole negotiation, (1783) a variety of maps, but 
it was Mitchell's map upon which was marked out the whole of the boundary lines 
of the United States; and the river St. Croix, which we fixed on was upon the 
map the nearest river to St. John's; so that, in all equity, good conscience, and honor, 
the river next St. John's should be the boundary. 

I am glad the General Court are taking early measures, and hope they will pursue 
them steadily until the point is settled, which it may be now amicably; if neglected 
long, it may be more difficult. 

Attest: John Avery, Jun. Secretary", 

copied from the 10th Vol. of Wait's State Papers, marked 'confidential,' p. 15." 
280 Minutes of the Board meeting at Montreal, October 26, 1824. Text: Mss. in 

National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts, VI and VII. Envelope I, Folder 2. 

261 Minutes of the Board, October 27, 1824. Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of 

Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Fold. 2. 


"that this series when complete shall exhibit a continuous map of a line 
of country extending from the Neebish Rapids, in the river St. Mary's 
to the Lake of the Woods 262 ... As soon as the weather will permit in 
the spring the surveyors will proceed to execute the unfinished part of 
the trigonometrical survey of the river St. Mary's, from the termina- 
tion of the line under the sixth article of the treaty to Lake Superior 
and also to ascertain by actual observation the position, shape and 
extent of Cariboef Island in Lake Superior. . . ." 263 

On November 10, 1824, Commissioner Porter reported to the Sec- 
retary of State, John Quincy Adams: 264 

"The Board of Commission under the 7th article of the Treaty of Ghent 
held a meeting at Montreal on the 25th of last month. 

"The United States Agent, Mr. Delafield, will forward to you a transcript 
from our Journal, which will apprise you of the present state of our operations, 
and of the resolution we have formed to close the Commission with the close 
of the ensuing year. At the meeting which took place in February last, Mr. 
Delafield and myself were decidedly of the opinion that it would be practicable 
to bring the business of the Commission to a close during the present year. . . . 
But the British Commissioner and Agent . . . insisted on a range of surveys 
and exploration which we deemed unnecessary, and which was calculated to 
protract the final adjustment of the boundary." 

Clearly, the British Commissioner was still determined to press his 
Fond du Lac route to success; but as clearly the American Commis- 
sioner was determined to waste no time or money upon surveys which 
could lead to no common conclusion: for he added, that if further 
"unnecessary" surveys were demanded by the British at the next 
meeting, 265 he would refuse them "although such refusal should be 
attended with the breaking up of the Commission." His compromise 
on the Pigeon River having now been rejected, Porter was ready, as 
events soon showed, to advance as America's claim Delafield's Kam- 
anistegua route, a route which Delafield felt himself able to defend 
as against the Fond du Lac route, but not, as yet, against the Pigeon 
River route. 

One week later, i. e. on November 17, 1824, Delafield wrote to the 
Secretary of State, 266 reporting what had been done since his last re- 

262 For these maps, see National Archives, Division of Maps. 

263 Xhese things accomplished, the Board adjourned to meet in the City of New 
York on December 20, 1825. 

264 Albany, Nov. 10, 1824. Mss. in National Archives. Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI 
and VII, Envelope I, Folder 1. 

265 Fixed on adjournment on Dec. 20, 1825. 

268 Delafield to Adams, Nov. 17, 1824. Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, 


port and adding, "The British Commissioner, . . . being desirous that 
the Fond du Lac in the southwest extremity of Lake Superior should be 
explored, permitted his surveyors ... to attempt it; and by this means 
the only objects of our attention remaining to be noticed (as the 
American Commissioner and Agent conceive), to wit, the position 
of the Cariboef Island in Lake Superior, and a section of St. Mary's 
River, were neglected, or rather omitted for want of time. ... By the 
proceedings of the Board it will be seen that the British Commissioner 
is still intent upon exploring the route by the Fond du Lac" which, if 
established as the border, would add a vast area to British Canada. 267 

While confident that he already held proofs sufficient to prove his 
contention that Long Lake lay not at the St. Louis but at the Pigeon 
River, Delafield was still intent upon adding further proofs. "In relation 
to Long Lake," he suggested to Secretary Adams, 268 "it would not 
perhaps, in ordinary cases, be requisite to furnish stronger proof of its 
identity than I have already done. I am desirous, however, to place 
the question beyond the reach of doubt and cavil, and have thought 
that the testimony of your venerable father (John Adams who had been 
a member of the Peace Commission of 1783) might enable me to do so. 
Permit me to ask whether his health and memory are such as to allow 
the propriety of addressing him upon the subject? 

"The sum of the British Agent's argument is that Mitchell's Map con- 
tains many errors; that the position of Long Lake may be one, because 
there is a lake to the southwest which is in shape a Long Lake; and the 
Long Lake of Mitchell's Map proves to be a river. 

"The errors of the map cannot invalidate the fact of Long Lake 
being there imprinted, and, whether a lake or river, we know it is the 
place intended by the Treaty of 1 783 and that the line was carried to 
it on Mitchell's Map. 

"Previous to our late meeting I applied to Mr. Jay, (John Jay, one 
of the Commissioners of 1783) to corroborate these facts, but his at- 
tention never having been called to the subject since 1783, he declined 
speaking with sufficient certainty. 269 

Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Fold. 2.) In a separate brief note, on this same No- 
vember 17, 1824, Delafield informed the Secretary of State: "In the course of this 
week I shall have the honor to present a statement of the proceedings of the Com- 
mission more in detail." (Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and 
VII, Envelope I, Folder 2.) 

887 Delafield, confident that America would never accept the Fond du Lac route 
for the boundary, did not seriously object to British surveys in that region because 
this would render "more perfect our maps of a portion of the United States territory 
as yet unknown," to quote the same letter of Nov. 17, 1824. 

268 Delafield to Adams, November 17, 1824. Cit. Opp. 

269 Details of these questions to Jay see ante, under Jay's Treaty. 


"The proof offered by the British Agent in the form of interrogatories 
to Mr. Adams, then President, is a valuable document for my purpose, 
but I am in hopes to obtain a still further proof from him." 270 

Apparently Secretary Adams encouraged the questioning of his 
"venerable father," though the State Department files show no letter 
from him to prove this. Sufficient proof seems, however, to be the fact 
that Major Delafield asked his questions, and John Adams answered 
them. Delafield's questions were as follows: 271 

"Boston, August II, 1825 
To His Excellency John Adams, Esq: 


As doubts have been expressed by the Agent of His Britannic Majesty under 
the 6th and 7th articles of the Treaty of Ghent as to the position of the Long 
Lake mentioned in the Treaty of 1 783, I have the honor to solicit any informa- 
tion you can give to identify that Lake, and would beg leave to submit the 
following questions: 

Upon what map did the Commissioners trace the Boundary Line described 
by the Treaty of 1783? 

Is the Long Lake intended by the Treaty of 1 783 the Long Lake laid down 
on Mitchell's map? 

I have the honor to be with 
greatest respect 

Yr. obed. servt. 
Jos. Delafield 
Agent of the 
United States, etc." 

"Quincy, Aug. 13, 1825 

John Adam's reply was as follows: 

To Joseph Delafield Esq: 

Agent of the United States 
under the 6th & 7th arts, of 
Treaty of Ghent. — 


In reply to your question, upon what map did the Commissioners trace the 
boundary line described in the Treaty of 1 783 — I answer that it was Mitchell's 

And to your question, whether by the Long Lake intended by the Treaty 
was meant Long Lake laid down in Mitchell's map — I answer, that it was, and 

170 For the questions sent John Adams in May, 1 798, see ante, under Jay's Treaty. 
271 Text: Mss. in the possession of Brig. Gen. John Ross Delafield, Montgomery 
Place, Barrytown, New York. 


that we used no other authority for places named in the description of the 
boundary line than Mitchell's map. 

Yours obt. servt. 
John Adams. 
Signed in presence 
of Wm. E. Payne." 

Accompanying this statement of John Adams, in the collection at 
Montgomery Place, Barrytown, New York, is the following statement 
by Major Joseph Delafield as to how and why he had obtained it: 

"This document was obtained by me under the following circumstances: 
When in the summer of 1823 I proceeded in the execution of my duties as 
Agent of the United States under the 6th and 7th articles of the Treaty of 
Ghent, to visit the surveyors then engaged in the Lake of the Woods, I learned 
for the first time that the British Commissioner, instead of adopting the Long 
Lake of Mitchell's map or the old Grand Portage route from Lake Superior 
inland (which had hitherto been conceded to be the true point of departure), 
had instructed his surveyors to explore the Fond du Lac route for a water 
communication toward the Lake of the Woods, thus to my surprise abandoning 
the Long Lake of Mitchell's map, or old Grand Portage route, as the intended 
Boundary by the Treaty of 1783. As an offset from this departure by the 
British Commissioner and Agent from the received Long Lake (as it was under- 
stood and believed), I searched for a route north of the Grand Portage, and 
explored the well known route of the traders by the Kamanistegua or Dog River. 
I had however previously obtained this document for the purpose of establishing 
the Long Lake of Mitchell's map as the lake intended by the Commissioners 
in the Treaty of 1 783, having been unable to obtain any of the identical maps 
used by that Commission, the missing red-line maps remaining concealed. 

Having succeeded in finding a continuous water communication by the 
Dog River to the Lake of the Woods (always excepting the 'height of land' by 
every route) I sought to establish this route as the true boundary and that the 
Long Lake of this river was the Long Lake of the Treaty. I accordingly made 
this claim in behalf of the United States, well knowing that the British Com- 
missioner would adhere to the Fond du Lac route. I was fortunate in obtaining 
such strong and varied evidences in support of my claim that the American 
Commissioner (General Porter) felt compelled to sustain it; and thus the dis- 
agreement between the two Commissioners the British insisting upon the Fond 
ud Lac route- I had no occasion therefore to make use of this document, it being 
inconsistent with my claim 272 and, it forming no part of the evidence produced, 
I have retained it in my possession. It is nevertheless of more interest than is 
apparent owing to the manner in which I sought to identify the Long Lake of 
the Treaty. 

272 His claim was that the Commissioners of 1 783 intended the line to start west- 
ward through Pigeon River. 



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Mr. John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, furnished me with a copy 
of Mitchell's map, the only one in the Department, and accessible. I took it to 
Bedford to lay it before Mr. Jay, and explained to him the object of my visit. 
After some hours spent there, in company with his son, William Jay, my 
former schoolmate, the Governor replied to my inquiries and stated that several 
maps were used by the Commissioners; that he could not state upon which 
they traced the Boundary, nor which was the Long Lake. I then proceeded to 
Quincy, to lay the Mitchell map before the venerable John Adams an associate 
Commissioner with Mr. Jay, having made similar explanations to him of my 
object in offering the map. He promptly replied, 'it is useless, Mr. Delafield, 
to present the map, my eyesight would not enable me to designate the Long 
Lake, but I well remember that it was Mitchell's map upon which we traced 
the Boundary line.' I asked him if he would allow me to submit to him in- 
terrogatories in writing to establish this fact. He replied 'certainly,' and this 
document was the result of that interview. Had the red-line map at that time, 
been available, it should have prevented the British Commissioner from claim- 
ing the Fond du Lac route and my counterclaim to the Dog River route. 273 
It might have prevented the disagreement between the Commissioners under 
the 7th Article of the Treaty of Ghent and could have spared the U. S. the 
subsequent compromise agreement in relation to the Grand Portage route 
entered into by Mr. Webster and Lord Ashburton. Of the inducement on the 
part of Mr. Webster to yield this water line route I have no knowledge. 

Some red-line maps are now known to exist; 274 and I am informed that one 
of them was found among the papers of Gov. Jay since his decease. 276 

The American Commissioner (General Porter) would have adopted the 
Grand Portage route if mutually agreed upon, but the British Commissioner 
(Mr. A. Barclay) was unyielding in his claim to the Fond du Lac route. 

This evidence it was useless to produce. My claim to the Dog River route 
being sustained it 878 formed no part of the evidence before the Commission. 
I have retained it as too important to throw aside. It may never be of value 
hereafter as evidence, but as an authentic instrument bearing upon a disputed 
point I accompany it with this note explanatory of its purpose etc. 

Jos. Delafield 
March 21, 1868." 

On the reverse of the last sheet of this statement Major Delafield wrote: 

"N.B. The red-line map discovered by Mr. Sparks 277 is said to have been a 
map by Faden; 278 and whether or not a Mitchell's map with the boundary 

171 The one was to offset the other as Delafield here clearly admits. His own con- 
viction, that Pigeon River was the point intended by the Commissioners of 1783, was 
never abandoned by him, but General Porter thought best to abandon it in favor of 
his Kamanistegua route. 

174 These have been discussed in the previous pages of this Introduction. 

276 That one, signed by him, is now in the New York Historical Society. 
278 By "it" he means his arguments to prove the Pigeon River route. 

277 Described earlier in this Introduction. 

278 The lettering is so indistinct that the name cannot be made out with certainty. 


traced upon it as Mr. Adams certified has been yet produced I am not in- 


Later, however, when he wrote his Autobiography, he was no longer 
lacking that information, for he wrote: "The difference was sub- 
sequently settled by the Webster and Ashburton Treaty, adopting the 
Long Lake of Mitchell's maps by the Grand Portage. This difference 
should not have occurred, nor would it, if the missing red-line maps of 
1783 could have been produced. It has since been discovered in the 
private library of George III, and I have reason to believe a copy of 
Mitchell's map showing the red line was in possession of one of the 
American Commissioners but inaccessible when wanted. 279 

"Mr. Webster, for some reason, conceded a land route on the Ameri- 
can side of the Long Lake by the Grand Portage instead of adhering 
strictly to the water line of the Treaty. It is true the water line is im- 
practicable in this as in other cases of falls and rapids and that the con- 
cession is not material. Nevertheless as a concession it is reasonable to 
conclude that he derived an ample equivalent in the readjustment of 
the more important and long disputed North Eastern boundary. 280 

"That the Long Lake of Mitchell's map by the Grand Portage was 
the true boundary as intended by the Treaty of 1 783 I was prepared to 
substantiate by the written assurance of the venerable John Adams 
who distinctly remembered the fact. 281 But as no evidence short of the 
red-line map would satisfy the British Commissioner it was withheld 
and remains with my boundary papers. Being compelled to assume the 
northern route, it was fortunately so strongly substantiated by evidence 
as to be adopted by the American Commissioner." 282 

The British Agent had not yet made a definite claim to a more 
southern route for the boundary line than that by the Grand Portage; 
but his persistent surveys in the Fond du Lac region rendered it likely 
that he would soon do so. "If a more southern route is claimed on the 
part of Great Britain," Delafield had notified the Secretary of State, 

279 The map was accessible, and Webster used it to bring the representatives of 
Massachusetts and Maine to accept the compromises which he and Ashburton had 
agreed upon: but he did not show it to Ashburton, as it clearly strengthened the 
British claims. See the later sections on the Webster-Ashburton Treaty. 

280 For the particulars of this disputed claim etc., by the American and British 
Agents, see nth Vol. of Executive Documents, 1837, 1838, No. 451, Washington. 

281 An interesting deposition by John Jay, now in the New York Historical Society, 
bears upon Adams' statement. 

282 Joseph Delafield's Mss. Autobiography, p. 9. 


John Quincy Adams, in that same letter of November 17, 1824, 283 
"I am prepared on the part of the United States to claim a more 
northern one, 284 whenever it becomes expedient, for the same reason 
that they can claim in the south, and with more force and propriety, 
because it is more direct and continuous than any other except by the 
Long Lake on Pigeon River. 285 I have foreborn, however, to do so, or 
to press the argument about Long Lake farther at present than was 
necessary to reduce the surveys, in fear of giving countenance to the 
examination of other routes which would lead to almost interminable 
labor. Besides, the route by Long Lake on Pigeon River is so clearly 
and irresistibly the course of the line prescribed by the Treaty that I 
feel compelled in equity and reason to advocate it; and the interests 
of the United States no less require that it should be sustained without 
compromise or relinquishment of any sort." 

In other words, Delafield was all along convinced that the intention 
of the Commissioners of 1 783 was to start the line at the Pigeon River 
line; but advanced and elaborated his argument for the Kamanistegua 
line as a counter-poise to what he considered the unreasonable am- 
bition of the British Agent in toying with the Fond du Lac, and he 
submitted many maps 286 to prove his contention. 

"It is not reasonable," he adds, "to suppose that the slight and un- 
tenable pretense of doubting the true position of Long Lake would 
induce the British Commissioner to hazard a disagreement." 287 But in 
this he was mistaken. The British Commissioner was quite prepared to 
"hazard a disagreement," and did so, at the cost of failure for the 
Commission. 288 

888 Text: Delafield to Adams, Nov. 17, 1824, Mss. in National Archives. 

184 Namely the Kamanistegua route, which he had explored and for which he had 
gathered evidence. The evidence which Delafield gathered in support of his Kam- 
anistegua line is printed in House Docs., Vol. 1 1, 25th Cong., 2d Sess., p. 32. 

886 Later Delafield wrote that, the evidence which he had so carefully collected in 
favor of the Pigeon River route being no longer applicable, because the British Com- 
missioner had turned his attention toward the St. Louis River route, he could without 
inconsistency urge the new Kamanistegua route. (Memorial presented to the Board 
in October, 1824. Text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and 
VII, Envelope I, Fold. 2 and in House Docs. Vol. 11, 25th Cong., 2d Sess., p. 27 of 
Doc. No. 451.) 

886 House Doc. No. 451. House Docs., Vol. n, 25th Cong., 2d Sess., p. 27. (The 
maps presented are chiefly of British origin.) 

887 Delafield to J. Q. Adams, Nov. 17, 1824, Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of 
Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I Folder 2. 

888 Barclay's Report of October 25, 1827 (Doc. No. 451, House Docs. Vol. 11, 
25th Cong., 2d Sess., pp. 40-117) says on p. 77: "the route by the Kamanistegua 
River has not the Long Lake required. . . . There is no Long Lake upon this route 


The State Department passed into the hands of Henry Clay, on 
March 7, 1825, an< ^ on November 16, 1825, General Porter wrote to 
him, 289 explaining why the Commission had not been able to conclude 
its work. "I trust however," he said, "that the Journal of our proceed- 
ings, and other official documents, copies of which will have been 
transmitted to you before the receipt of this, by Mr. Delafield, the 
American Agent, will satisfy the President that the delay is not im- 
putable to me, nor to any of the agents constituting the American part 
of the Commission." He explained, as the reason for the delay, that 
Barclay, the British Commissioner, had hoped to establish the line 
"far to the south of the one which was obviously in contemplation of 
the signers of the Treaty of 1783." With that aim in view, he explained, 
Barclay had recently made a tour of the northwest, accompanied by a 
Doctor Tiark, 290 but, "from the informal conversations . . . which I 
have had with Mr. Barclay and Doctor Tiark, since their return, I ap- 
prehend no serious difficulty in an amicable adjustment." 

As the basis of such adjustment, however, the American Agent, and 
following him the American Commissioner, demanded not the Pigeon 
River, which they had already offered and seen rejected, but the 
Kamanistegua route. Delafield, on October 5, 1826, filed his argument 
with the Board. 291 It says: 

immediately connected with Lake Superior, as required by the treaties, without con- 
tracted water communication. In proceeding from Lake Superior, by the Kamanis- 
tegua River, the entrance is sudden from the Great Lake immediately into the narrow 
river last named; and that river is to be ascended nearly forty miles ... to the Kaka- 
bikka or Mountain Falls; thence, about the like distance, to the Dog Portage, which 
connects the communication with the Dog Lake, after the traveller has been obliged 
to traverse twelve portages and decharges between that lake and Fort William, near 
Lake Superior, at the mouth of the Kamanistegua River. This Dog Lake, notwith- 
standing its remoteness from Lake Superior, has been claimed by the Commissioner of 
the United States, conformably with the oscillations of the Agent of the same Govern- 
ment (Major Delafield) as the Long Lake." 

289 Text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope 
I, Folder 1. 

290 Dr. J. L. Tiark, an astronomer for the British Government, who in 1825 se " 
lected a point as the most northwestern point of the Lake of the Woods (The In- 
ternational Boundary Commission, Joint Report upon the survey and demarcation 
of the boundary from the northwestern point of the Lake of the Woods to Lake 
Superior, p. 37). He placed it at 49°23'55" (Ibid. p. 107). This was accepted in 1842 
by both Governments; and until 1925 it figured in boundary history as the terminus 
of the line from Lake Superior to the Lake of the Woods (Ibid. p. 107). In 1927 it 
was changed to 49°5i'35" (Ibid. p. 107). Delafield's expedition fixed it at 49°23 / 48 // 
(Porter to Clay, October 18, 1826. Text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, 
Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 1). 

291 Text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope 
IV, Folder 1. Quoted also by Commissioner Porter's separate report of December 12, 


"The undersigned, the Agent of the United States, has the honor to present 
the following claims in behalf of his Government, under the seventh article of 
the Treaty of Ghent. Beginning at the point where the boundary line terminated 
under the sixth article of the Treaty, he claims that the boundary line be so 
continued through the river St. Mary's that Isle St. George or Sugar Island be 
within the limits of the United States. 

In Lake Superior he respectfully conceives that it is the right of the United 
States, and he claims accordingly, that the line be drawn from the St. Mary's 
River to the northward of Isle St. Anne or Gariboef Island, thence northward 
of Isle Royale; thence northward of the Isles Phelipeaux (by which latter 
islands he means the Pate 292 of the present map and its adjacent group): 
thence to the river Kamanistegua, and thence through the middle of the same 
river to the Long Lake also called the Dog Lake. From the Long Lake on the 
Kamanistegua he claims that the line be continued through the middle of the 
river, marked on the accompanying map Dog River, until it arrives at that 
certain tributary which leads to the 'Gold Water Lake,' and thence through the 
middle of such tributary to its source in the Height of Land near the 'Cold 
Water Lake' : thence over the Height of Land and through the middle of the 
lakes and rivers known and described as the 'Broad' of the French, viz. to the 
river Savannah; thence through the middle of the river Savannah to Mille 
Lake: through the middle of Mille Lake and its water communication with 
Lac Dorade to Lac Dorade: through the middle of Lac Dorade and its water 
communication with Lake Winebago 293 and its water communication with 
Sturgeon Lake to Sturgeon Lake: through the middle of Sturgeon Lake and 
the river Maligne to Lac a la Croix: through the middle of Lac a la Croix 
and its water communication with Lake Nemecan to Lake Nemecan: through 
the middle of Lake Nemecan and its water communication with Rainy Lake 
to Rainy Lake: through the middle of Rainy Lake and Rainy River to the 
Lake of the Woods, and thence to the most northwest point thereof, which 
point is in the Bay near Rat Portage, marked on the accompanying map No. 3. 
To which map the undersigned begs leave to refer for a more particular de- 
scription of the claims above set forth. And he would also ask (in case the Agent 
of His Britannic Majesty should differ from the undersigned as to the rights of 
the United States in these particulars) that the undersigned may be allowed 
to substantiate his claims by proofs, and by such other considerations as he is 
prepared to assign. 

All which is respectfully submitted, 
New York, October 5, 1826. 

Jos. Delafield, Agent of the United States." 

1827. It appears also in the Journal of October 5, 1826; and is printed in Doc. No. 
451, House Docs., Vol. 11, 25th Cong., 2d Sess., 24-31, and is summarized on p. 99. 

292 He gives in great detail his reasons for identifying the Isles Phelipeaux with those 
"marked on the map of this Commission the Pate" (p. 8 et Seq. of the Mss. of 
October 5, 1826, in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope 
I, Folder 2). It is a brilliant argument, showing much research. 

293 These lakes are not marked on the map filed with Major Delafield's papers in 



This argument, masterful in its massing of intricate detail, remark- 
able in the amount of research which it represents, appears to best 
advantage when compared with the brief argument presented by Mr. 
Hale, the British Agent, the same day. Hale contented himself with a 
page and a half of pleading. 294 In essence it is a curt demand "that the 
boundary . . . should be continued up the Middle Neebish channel, 
which offers the most direct communication into Lake Superior, and 
effects the most impartial division that can be made of the only two 
islands of any importance in that communication, by assigning Neebish 
Island to the United States and St. George's Island to Great Britain. 

"The undersigned," he added, "proceeds to resume the observations 
which were laid before the Board on the 26th of October, 1824, re- 
lating to the situation of the 'Long Lake,' and he is confirmed in the 
assumption that nothing like a Long Lake is to be found between the 
west end of Isle Royale and the discharge of the river St. Louis, which 
opening, he therefore contends to be the proper point of departure from 
Lake Superior for continuing the boundary towards the water com- 
munication with the Lake of the Woods. He refers to the maps laid 
down by authorized surveyors for the justice of this pretension, and he 
lays before the Board the further evidence of two letters from the late 
Mr. McGillivray, the head of the Northwest Company, which state 
that no such inlet exists as the Long Lake laid down in the old charts; 
and that the run of waters upon communication with the river St. 
Louis is of much greater magnitude than any to be found in other 
routes to the interior. To the latter circumstance the undersigned 
attaches the greatest importance because, as in the Treaty of 1 783 the 
Commissioners adopted as much as possible a water line for the 
boundary line, it is fair to presume that their intention was to continue 
such a line to the utmost extent practicable, and in no part of the face 
of the country does it appear that this view of the subject would be 
more fully met than by running the boundary line up the river St. 

The next day, October 6, 1826, Hale submitted another sheet and a 
half, in reply to Delafield's argument which he had just read. It was 
in essence only a protest against "the admission of any printed maps 
whatever as evidence." Upon the basis of the surveys made by author- 
ity of the Board, and without any attempt "to follow the Agent of the 
United States in the very laborious research he has made," he is con- 
tent merely to repeat his previous claim, "that from the discharge of 

the National Archives, under November 28, 1823. 

294 Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, 
Folder 2. 


Lake Superior the line should run west of Gariboef Island directly to 
the north of the Isle Royale (disregarding any supposed island called 
Phelipeaux as having no existence), and from thence up the river St. 
Louis, or the carrying places connected therewith, to the most direct 
communication with the Lake of the Woods, and that the boundary 
should terminate in this lake at the point laid down as the most north- 
western by Dr. Tiarks, the astronomer whose observations and charts 
annexed are now laid before the Board, with a request that they be 

To this Delafield replied, briefly, on October 7, 1826, 295 urging that 
the maps to which he had referred, and which the British Agent had 
attempted to discount, were valid evidence upon the points at issue, 
and as such could be received or rejected as the Board thought just. 
"The undersigned," he added, "can neither allow nor forsee the least 
validity in the objections made" to their consideration by the Board. 
The report of Dr. Tiarks, however, and the other so-called evidence 
which the British Agent had submitted, he regarded as without proper 
authentication, and therefore not evidence. Dr. Tiarks' so-called re- 
port, he pointed out, was only a "private document and not to be ad- 
mitted in evidence," as it had manifestly no authenticity. "Dr. Tiarks," 
he said, "is not known in that capacity (astronomer on the part of His 
Britannic Majesty) to this Board, nor has he ever been appointed by the 
Commissioners as astronomer or surveyor." 

On October 9, 1826, Agent Hale replied, 296 laying down his claims 
with more precision, "from the river St. Louis to the Lake of the 
Woods," and presenting an affidavit from assistant surveyor Thompson 
who "had passed along that boundary in person." As to Delafield's 
theory of Long Lake he declared himself unable to "imagine that any 
Commissioners could have been so careless as to describe a boundary 
in terms so singular as the 'Long Lake,' if other long lakes were, as 
Delafield's numerous maps showed, before their eyes." He then pointed 
out that "among the maps collected by the x\gent of the United States 
(Major Delafield) . . . three . . . bear evident marks of having been 
struck from the same plate, and two others also appear to have been 
struck from one and the same plate, with alterations in the titles only." 

295 (Text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, 
Folder 2.) He asks also that he may be permitted to put in hereafter "a more particular 

298 (Text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, 
Folder 2. Hale submitted a letter from W. McGillivray, dated August 30, 1825, at 
Quebec, declaring that the waters (of the St. Louis route) "are of much more magni- 
tude than by any of the other two routes to the interior" (text: in National Archives, 
Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 2). 


But such facts he considered only incidental to the fact that Major 
Delafield had himself offered proof "that it was Mitchell's map upon 
which the Treaty was framed." 

Two days later, October u, 1826, Delafield replied, 297 admitting 
that there was such a route to the Lake of the Woods "from the St. 
Louis River" as that which Mr. Hale had described: but, he added, 
"its existence appears to be the only argument in its favor. A route also 
has been described by the undersigned by the way of the Peak River, 
another by the Nipigon. 298 Either of them, by a parity of reasoning, are 
as truly the intended boundary line as the St. Louis River route. No 
Long Lake is to be found, nor is any pretended to exist, by the way of 
the St. Louis, which is a sufficient objection to it. 

"The Long Lake by the river Kamanistegua has been proved by 
many maps. 299 The evidence has not been contraverted, but the Agent 
of His Britannic Majesty, to impair it, has observed, 'that three of the 
maps bear evident marks of having been struck from the same plate, 
and two others also appear to have been struck from one and the same 
plate. . . .' The maps referred to, being upon the same scale, must of 
course have a great resemblance, if at all accurate, and this general 
resemblance, in size and outline, is the only foundation for the remark. 
In detail they differ very materially, and in so many particulars, as not 
to justify the objection which has been made." But he argued, very 
convincingly, that if these maps had been merely new editions of earlier 
maps, it could only have proved that, with the reports of all later ex- 
plorations before him, the publisher found "his first plate ... as perfect 
as he knew how to make it; and thence ... it seems to confirm the 
argument and claims of the undersigned" American Agent. 300 

These arguments between the agents advanced the Commission no 
closer to agreement; and, on October 16, 1826, Porter wrote to Sec- 
retary Clay: 301 "I regret being obliged to inform you that Mr. Barclay 

297 Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, 
Folder 2. 

298 Barclay's report, p. 112, says: that the American Agent reserved "the route by 
the Peak or Nipigon River in behalf of his government should it be thought fit for 
future discussion, in case of a final disagreement." This threat, as Barclay calls it, 
probably arose "from his hope of thereby exciting a distrust, on the part of his 
Majesty's servants under this Commission, in their cause, rather than from any 
opinion of the reasonableness or admissibility of such a claim." (Doc. No. 451, House 
Docs., Vol. 11, 25th Cong., 2d Sess., p. 112.) 

299 Delafield had filed nine maps to sustain his contentions. 

300 Delafield, however, stoutly refused to admit that any of the maps produced by 
him were from the same plates. 

301 Porter to Clay, October 16, 1826. Text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of 
Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 1. 

"wixtid ivm u.aacou>*Q*L9ui»vty 


and myself, although we have concurred in establishing the greater 
part of the boundary required to be run by the 7th Article of the Treaty 
of Ghent, have disagreed as to certain portions of it. This result is as 
unexpected as it is unpleasant to me. . . . Situated, however, as the 
business is, the Commissioners have nothing to do but to make a joint 
report . . . describing and declaring the course of the line as far as we 
have agreed, and 'stating in detail the points on which we differ.' " 302 
This joint report, he said, would be accompanied by "separate reports 
in which we are required severally to assign the reasons for our re- 
spective opinions." Porter then declared his hope that, when these 
reports and arguments should be complete, the British Commissioner 
would do as he had done, as shown in the "Journal under dates of 
February and May 1822," in the case of disagreement concerning the 
line under Article VI, namely agree "upon the whole line of boundary." 
The basis of that hope was that "when his government shall have ex- 
amined the documents presented to the Board, only a few days ago, by 
our Agent, Major Delafield, and read his able and satisfactory ex- 
position of what he claims to be the true boundary, and contrasted it 
with the feeble effort of the British Agent to maintain their claim to an 
important island in the St. Mary's River, and to the route west of Lake 
Superior by the river St. Louis (which are the two points of difference) 
they will at once instruct him to agree, substantially if not in toto, to 
the boundary I have assumed." 303 

At the foot of this letter, in Major Delafield's handwriting, are the 
words: "I entirely concur with the Commissioner in the views taken by 
him in the preceding letter, and at his request, subscribe to the same." 

Two days later, on October 18, 1826, Porter informed Secretary of 
State, Clay, 304 that, at the recent meeting of the Board, "Mr. Barclay, 
as I anticipated . . . proposed that, after entering on our Journal a 
detailed description of those parts of the boundary on which we had 
agreed, and specifying our points of difference, as to the residue, we 
should suspend the exchange and transmission of the separate reports 
which we are required, in case of difference, to make to the respective 
governments, preparatory to a reference to some friendly sovereign, a 
sufficient length of time to enable him to communicate with his govern- 
ment, in the hope that His Majesty's Ministers would instruct him to 

302 The subquotes appear in the Mss. but there is no indication of the source of the 

303 In the Mss. in the National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, 
Envelope I, Folder 1. 

304 Porter to Clay, October 18, 1826. Text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of 
Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 1. 


accede — not to the line which I have assumed — but to another line 305 
somewhat more favorable to his government, but still far to the north of 
the one assumed by him, and which I had tendered to him, in the course 
of our discussions, in the shape of a compromise. . . . This is precisely 
the course which the business took on closing our deliberations under 
the sixth article . . . and it eventuated in an agreement." 306 

But His Majesty's Ministers failed to accede. Relations between 
America and England were again strained, as a British order in Council 
had forbidden American trade with West India ports, 307 and British 
authorities were building canals intended to facilitate British competi- 
tion in the growing trade on the lakes. It was even rumored that, in 
order to make England mistress of this lake trade, canals were being 
projected to serve as military highways. The Erie Canal had served to 
turn an increased amount of this northwest trade into New York City, 
as it carried the waters of the lakes into the Atlantic Ocean by an arti- 
ficial conduit, which had placed England at a disadvantage. But the 
mutual suspicions proved insufficient either to cause abandonment of 
the disarmament policy or seriously to interfere with the progress of 
the boundary contest, which soon proceeded, toward what Delafield 
and Porter hoped would be a compromise. 

But compromise was never reached. Each side held stubbornly to its 
demands, until the breaking point came. 

On October 28, 1826, Delafield thought it wise to give the Secretary 
of State, Henry Clay, a very definite statement showing where the 
differences lay: 308 

"New York, October 28, 1826 
Hon. Henry Clay, 

Secretary of State 


It was my intention to have deferred addressing you upon the subject of the 
boundary line until the Board now sitting had adjourned, when a copy of its 

* 05 That is not the Kamanistegua route, which Delafield discovered, but the Pigeon 
River route which both Commissioners had at first considered the one plainly intended 
by the Commissioners of 1783. 

806 In this same letter Porter refers to the "President's assent to the proposition made 
by Mr. Barclay's letter to me ... by direction of his government to run a meridian 
line from the northwestern point of the Lake of the Woods to the parallel of 49 °, and 
place a monument at the point of intersection." He says that the two Commissioners 
have agreed as to all the western part of the line and have placed a monument at 
the northwest point of the Lake of the Woods, 49 23' 48" as they had fixed it. 

307 Callahan's Neutrality of the American Lakes, p. 88. 

808 Text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, 
Folder 2. 


proceedings and decisions as entered on the Journal, together with the dis- 
cussions, might also be transmitted. 

The American Commissioner having apprised you of the present state of 
his negotiations with his colleague, and believing that you would prefer to be 
possessed with the means of ascertaining the extent and importance of the 
questions and differences that have occured without delay (at least in their 
general import), I have the honor to enclose for this purpose two maps upon a 
reduced scale comprising the territory in dispute. 

The smaller map is of that portion of the St. Mary's River between lakes 
Huron and Superior, which embraces Isle St. George, an island claimed in 
behalf of the respective governments. The claim of the United States is founded 
upon the facts, that the only navigable channel is on the Canadian side of the 
island, and that the island or its greater proportion, is on the American side 
of 'the middle of the river', in any sense of that expression. The British claim 
has no other foundation than their strong desire to possess it. The island is 
about sixteen miles in length, is two miles below Fort Brady, and of value for 
its soil and timber, but more especially because it binds the channel to the St. 
Mary's Falls. Our claim to it has been sustained by ample evidence, and, I 
am gratified to add, however desirable amicable decisions are, that the Ameri- 
can Commissioner has rather made this island a point of disagreement than 
cede it to the British. In my humble opinion, the British claim to this island is 
not consistent with the principles which have governed former decisions. It is 
in opposition to the rules of decision heretofore advocated on the part of His 
Britannic Majesty under the 6th article of the Treaty, and so feebly sustained 
that I cannot doubt but that the right of the United States will be ultimately 
acceded to. 

The larger map embraces all the disputable country beyond Lake Superior 
and is reduced from our actual surveys. 309 It exemplifies the three routes of 
rivers and lakes leading toward the Lake of the Woods. The most southern one 
by the river St. Louis has been claimed by the Agent of Great Britain. The 
most northern one by the Kamanistegua River in behalf of the United States. 
The middle one by the Pigeon River has become the subject of a compromise 
but without success. The St. Louis River route has been sustained by the 
British Agent, upon no better pretense than their claim to Isle St. George. 
To sustain the claim of the United States to the northern route I have had the 
good fortune to produce various maps, some dated previous to the Treaty of 
Peace of 1783, others in 1783, and others in subsequent years, all having the 
Long Lake laid down on the Kamanistegua. The Treaty prescribes the line to 
run northward of 'Isle Royale and the Phelipeaux to Long Lake,' and by 
reference to the map you will perceive that, having arrived to the northward of 
these islands, the boundary must fairly and reasonably continue to the Kaman- 
istegua and its Long Lake. 

309 -phis m ap, still preserved in the National Archives (filed with Delafield's letter 
to Clay, of Oct. 28, 1826, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 2), 
is much too large to reproduce: but a glance at it makes clear the complicated matters 
involved in this part of the dispute. 


It is not, however, my present purpose to enter more fully into this subject 
than to explain the enclosed maps as illustrating the claims of the respective 
Agents, and the points of disagreement between the Commissioners. 

The American Commissioner, to effect an immediate adjustment of the 
line, would have consented to adopt the middle route; 310 and it is this route 
which in candor I must admit has been always heretofore considered to be the 
line of division between the two governments. This overture to compromise 
was met by an offer of the British Commissioner to approach very near this 
route, but instead of following the continuous waters, he proposed to pass by 
land over all the carrying places. To this course there are such serious objec- 
tions, bearing equally upon the conveniences of both governments, besides the 
deviation from the Treaty description, that the proposition could only have 
been made with the certainty of its rejection. By this middle route it will be 
seen that there are two chains of lakes and rivers diverging occasionally and 
again uniting. It is the northern one which is the most direct and continuous, 
and the one intended as the Compromise by the American Commissioner. 
The adoption of this route would no doubt better advance the interests of the 
United States than to leave the boundary undetermined. But, as the question 
now stands, and, upon the evidence now before the Board, it appears to me 
to be almost certain that the British Commissioner will be instructed rather 
to adopt the compromise than to bring the extreme claims of the respective 
agents into competition. Should it prove otherwise, it does not become me to 
say more than that the American Commissioner has decided to abide by the 
claim which it has been my duty to advance, and to advocate in behalf of 
the United States, and that I am perfectly satisfied of its validity, and its 
preference according to the evidence before the Commissioners. 

In the course of a few days, it will be in my power to send a copy of the 
Journal, together with a copy of the discussions between the agents, and the 
evidence to the Board, which will explain very fully the merits of the questions 
at issue, and the extent of the boundary established. 

I have the honor to be 
with the greatest respect 
Your most obedient servant 
Jos. Delafield" 

Just five days after this unequivocal declaration by Delafield that he 
was convinced by the evidence which he had gathered that the Kam- 
anistegua route fulfilled the conditions of the Treaty of 1783 better 
than any other, and that he had so convinced the American Com- 
missioner, Porter wrote to Clay, 311 adopting Delafield's Kamanistegua 
route as his own. "Major Delafield" he said, "has furnished you with 
a map and observations which will explain to you our points of differ- 

810 That is Pigeon River. 

311 Porter to Clay, Nov. 2, 1826. Text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, 
Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 2. 


ence (with Great Britain). I claim for the United States the route by 
the Caminestiguia (Kamanistegua) on the waters of which is unques- 
tionably situated the true 'Long Lake.' But in as much as Mitchell's 
Map, which was before the Commissioners at the time of making the 
Treaty of 1 783, places Long Lake in and identifies it with the small bay 
or inlet at the mouth of Pigeon River near the Grand Portage, I offered, 
by way of compromise, to enter that bay and river, and proceed up it 
through the most continuous waters to Lake Nemican. Mr. Barclay, 
after claiming the river St. Louis as his line, offered, as a compromise, 
to take the Grand Portage route, which commences a little to the south 
of Pigeon River, and proceeds to Lake Nemican, partly through the 
Pigeon River and partly overland to the south of it. Finding, I presume, 
that this proposition does not comport well with the Treaty which re- 
quires us to follow the water communication, he now offers to enter 
the Pigeon River and proceed to Lake Nemican by a water communica- 
tion, somewhat to the south of the one proposed, by way of compromise, 
by me. . . ." 

Apparently, Delafield felt that one of these two routes would soon 
be agreed upon, for, on November 4, 1826, he wrote to Clay, 312 ex- 
pressing the hope that "the entire boundary 7 line will yet be traced upon 
the remainder of the maps, in conformity (as I may add) with . . . just 
and impartial views." But this proved an unsound prophecy. Each side 
continued to insist that its extreme claims were "just and impartial," 
and no compromise was effected. 

On November 15, 1826, Delafield fulfilled his promise of October 8, 
1826, 313 by sending Clay a "copy of the Journal of the proceedings of 
the Board at its late meeting held in New York beginning October 4, 
1826." 314 It thus declared disagreement in the Board over certain sec- 

312 Delafield to Clay, November 4, 1826. Text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty 
of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 2. 

313 Delafield to Clay, New York, Nov. 15, 1826, enclosing copy of proceedings of 
October 4, 1826. Text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, 
Envelope I, Folder 2. 

The report of the International Boundary Commission, Vol. IV, p. 25 says: "The 
work of reestablishing the boundary ... as provided for under the Treaties of 1 908 
and 1925, includes the determination of the location of the line as adopted under the 
Treaty of 1842, and as shown on the maps prepared in 1822, 1823, and 1824 . . . under 
Article VII of the Treaty of Ghent, 1814. . . . Although these maps were inaccurate, 
they were, in general, the sole means of determining the position of the boundary line 
as agreed to under the Treaty of 1842. Other than the maps, no records or notes of the 
original survey of the boundary waterways could be found, except the Journal of the 
Commissioners (British and Foreign State Papers, LVII p. 803), in which the loca- 
tion of parts of the line was described relative to certain islands." 

The present Diary is among the most important of the missing records referred to. 

814 Text: Mss. Ibid. 


tions of the boundary: "Resolved (Monday, October 23, 1826) that the 
Commissioners disagree as to the course which the boundary line should 
pursue, from the termination thereof under the 6th Article of the Treaty 
of Ghent, at a point in the Neebish channel near Muddy Lake, to an- 
other point in the middle of St. Mary's River, about one mile above 
St. George's or Sugar Island." The British Commissioner, continued 
the resolution, is of the opinion that the line should run "into the ship 
channel between St. Joseph's Island and St. Tammany's (Neebish) 
Island to the division of the channel at or near the head of St. Joseph's 
Island, thence between St. George's Island and St. Tammany's Island, 
turning westwardly through the middle of the Middle Neebish, pro- 
ceeding up to and through the Sugar Rapids, between the American 
main shore and the said St. George's Island, so as to appropriate the 
said island to His Britannic Majesty." The American Agent, it added, 
is of the opinion "that the line should be conducted from the before 
mentioned terminating point . . . into and along the ship channel 
between St. Joseph's and St. Tammany's Islands to the division of the 
channels at or near the head of St. Joseph's Island (concurring thus far 
with the British Commissioner) ; thence turning eastwardly and north- 
wardly around the lower end of St. George's or Sugar Island and 
following the middle of the channel which divides St. George's Island 
first from St. Joseph's Island and afterwards from the main British 
shore to the before mentioned point in the middle of St. Mary's River 
about one mile above St. George's or Sugar Island so as to appropriate 
the said island to the United States." 

Here then was a clear-cut issue, the aim of each side being to ap- 
propriate St. George's or Sugar Island. 

The resolution then describes the line agreed upon, beyond the head 
of St. George's Island, an agreement the nature of which is indicated 
upon the series of maps (still preserved in the National Archives) , by 
red shading on the British side and blue shading on the American side. 
It starts from the "point in the middle of St. Mary's River about one 
mile above the head of St. George's or Sugar Island," and runs thence 
westwardly through the middle of the said river, passing between the 
group of islands and the rocks which lie on the north side and those 
which lie on the south side of the Sault de St. Marie as exhibited on 
the maps; thence through the middle of the said river between points 
Iroquois and Gros Cap which are situated on opposite main shores at 
the head of the river St. Mary's and at the entrance of Lake Superior; 
thence in a straight line through Lake Superior, passing a little to the 
south of Isle Cariboef to a point in said lake one hundred yards to the 
north and east of a small island named on the map Chapeau and lying 
opposite and near to the northeastern point of Isle Royale. 


At that point the lines, red for the British and blue for the American, 
where agreement had been reached, again become controversial. "The 
Commissioners," declares the proceedings of October 23, 1826, "dis- 
agree as to the course of the boundary from the point last mentioned in 
Lake Superior to another point designated on the maps at the foot of 
the Oliandiere Fall in Lac la Pluie," the American Commissioner 
sustaining the Kamanistegua River and Dog Lake route, which Dela- 
field had established to his complete satisfaction; while the British 
Commissioner still insisted upon the Fond du Lac and St. Louis River 
route, far to the south. 316 Thus matters stood, each side hoping for some 
concession on the part of the other, and each hoping in vain. 

Both sides, however, still desired to carry out another project, 
namely "to trace the 49th parallel as far west as the Red River," 316 
desirable no doubt, but not within the terms of reference of the Com- 
mission, and therefore needing special permission from both govern- 
ments, a permission which, in view of complaints concerning expenses 
already expressed in both capitols, was by no means certain to be given. 
The President readily gave his consent: and the delay in hearing from 
England mattered little as the Commission agreed that the project 
was too ambitious for their resources. 

The same proved true concerning the line in the Lake of the Woods. 
Delafield later explained, "the northwest corner of the Lake of the 

Woods, was too important to be imperfectly determined; 

our materials are too imperfect to enable us to decide so important 
a line as this parallel, the effect of which would be to determine our 
northern boundary for a long and almost indefinite extent." And he 
added, "It turned out . . . that the northwest corner of the Lake of 
the Woods was in latitude 49 23' and 48" and that a meridian drawn 
from that south would intersect the 49th parallel at a point very near 
the middle of the Lake of the Woods, and distant from any shore." 
The Commission therefore contented itself with taking a few observa- 
tions for latitude on the south and east shores of the lake. Mr. Barclay 
suggested that, "if the object should be deemed of sufficient importance, 
to send our two astronomers again to the Lake of the Woods to as- 
certain, and erect a monument on, the 49th parallel, at the west shore 

315 This route is described in great detail in the Journal under October 23, 1826, 
pp. 10-14. "For a better general understanding of the routes respectively assumed by 
the Commissioners in this case of disagreement," adds the Journal, "reference may 
be had to a reduced map on the files of the Commission marked 'a general map of 
the country northwest of Lake Superior.' " The fullest details are in the series of maps 
still with it in the National Archives, map section. 

316 Porter to Clay, October 30, 1827. Text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of 
Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 1. 


of the Lake of the Woods, it would be, practically, still more important 
to ascertain and fix another at the Red River about 80 miles to the 
west, where collisions respecting territory will be much more likely to 
occur" . . . "as the lands in that vicinity are valuable, and as it appears 
from Major Long's observations (taken probably in haste and with 
imperfect instruments) that the 49th parallel passes through, or a little 
to the north of the town and principal settlements formed by the late 
Earl of Selkirk. These two points being fixed, the whole northern line 
of boundary would be so plainly indicated, as probably to render any 
further proceedings by the two governments in respect to it unneces- 
sary " 317 

All doubt concerning Great Britain's willingness to take part in the 
proposed Red River project was put to rest by a letter from Barclay 
to Delafield, dated Savannah, April 3, 1827, which said: "I am di- 
rected by His Majesty's Government, under the existing state of things, 
to relinquish all further operations upon the boundary, beyond that 
portion of it which is embraced by the 7th Article of the Treaty of 
Ghent." 318 

Ten days later, Delafield thus conveyed this information to the 
Secretary of State: 

"New York, April 13, 1827 
Hon. Henry Clay 

Secretary of State 


General Porter having requested Mr. Barclay to communicate to me with- 
out delay the purport of such instruction as might be furnished him from 
England concerning the proposed expedition to the Lake of the Woods and 
the Red River, I have this morning received from him a letter, dated Savannah, 
April 3rd, an extract from which I have the honor to subjoin. 

With the greatest respect 
Your most obedient servant 
Jos. Delafield" 

Meanwhile, the Commission had waited impatiently to learn the 
British Government's decision upon Barclay's request for instructions 
upon the question of yielding to America's claims under the Seventh, 
as he had been instructed to yield under the Sixth Article of the Treaty 
of Ghent. As there was little that the Board could do until this informa- 

817 Porter to Clay, Oct. 18, 1826. Text: National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. 
VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 1. 

318 Text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, 
Folder 2. 



tion arrived, the Board meeting scheduled for March 1, 1827 was 
omitted, as Delafield had explained to the Secretary of State, 319 "in 
consequence of the British Commissioner not yet having received the 
expected instructions from his government . . . which only could pro- 
duce any decisive results. . . . There is reason to believe," he added, 
"that by this time, (March 22, 1827) he will have received instructions, 
as the packet by which he expected them has arrived." About two 
weeks later, on April 6, 1827, he had written again to Clay 320 that the 
British Commissioner had received the expected instructions, "relative 
to the unsettled business of boundary commission, and to the proposed 
observations for latitude in the northwest" (at the Lake of the Woods 
and the Red River). He explained that as yet Barclay had not seen 
fit to reveal the contents of the instructions, which probably were 
"not calculated to produce an agreement upon the questions in dispute 
under the 7th article of the Treaty." Delafield added, "He, (Barclay) 
made a casual remark that it was Canning's wish to refer the subject 
to a friendly power." It was evidently not the British intention to yield 
to the American claims and Barclay had convinced Delafield that 
Canning cherished an "unwillingness that these differences should be 
adjusted by this Commission." Delafield warned Clay that two or three 
weeks might elapse before General Porter learned from his colleague, 
(Mr. Barclay) the more precise nature of his instructions. 

Clearly there remained little chance of agreement concerning the 
disputed sections of the line, and Barclay's instructions when they came 
showed no signs of concession upon the part of the British Government, 
no inclination to recede from what Delafield described as "untenable 
claims." 321 Clay knew, as Delafield knew, that America would never 
accept those claims, and therefore there remained nothing for Dela- 
field but to prepare for the Commission the documents needed for its 
final deliberations, including the minutes of the Board. This he did at 
once, with meticulous care, setting in order also the account of ex- 
penses, which totaled $93,3 16.31, for the Americans, and ^23,391, and 
6% shillings, Halifax currency, for the British, from October 29, 181 7 
to October 25, 1827. 322 

819 Delafield to Clay, March 22, 1827. Text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of 
Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 2. 

820 Text: Mss. in National Archives. Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, 
Folder 2. 

321 Delafield to Clay, September 22, 1827. Text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty 
of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 2. 

328 These accounts show "joint expenses of the Commission under the 6th and 7th 
Articles of the Treaty of Ghent;" British jf 23,39 1.6K, American $93,316.31. See Dela- 


In the meantime Commissioner Barclay became more and more 
indignant as he realized that the American Commissioner, Porter, not 
only rejected the Fond du Lac route, but accepted Delafield's Kamanis- 
tegua route. On October 25, 1827, ne complained to the Board 323 
that, "After the intimation heretofore made, that the American Agent 
had presented a formal claim to the Board in 1824, calling upon the 
Commissioners to fix upon Pigeon River as the Long Lake, it would be 
difficult to comprehend how the Dog Lake should now be claimed as 
the Long Lake by the same gentleman, and by the Commissioner in 
behalf of the United States also, without a sketch of the proceedings in 
relation to these subjects. To this irksome task the undersigned must 

He then quotes Major Delafield's memorial to the Commissioners, 
of October 25, 1824, in which he had declared "the place called Long 
Lake to be the mouth of Pigeon River (as now called), near the Old 
Grand Portage." Barclay then frankly admitted, "the facts designed 
to be proved by these documents, (which Delafield had assembled) 324 
. . . have never been denied. But the inference then desired by the 
American Agent (Delafield), that Mitchell's Map was therefore true, 
conclusive, and obligatory upon the Commissioners, was never ad- 
mitted by the undersigned, nor would the Agent of the United States, 
(Delafield) wish to admit it. 325 It remains for the Commissioner of the 
United States (Porter) to show how the inconsistency manifested by the 
American Agent (Delafield) ... is to be excused." 

That "inconsistency" Barclay then attempts to exhibit, confessing 

field's Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, 
Folder 2. They are signed by Porter and Barclay, Donald Fraser and Richard Wil- 
liams, Sec. and Assistant Sec. and are certified "True Copy— Jos. Delafield." 

323 His report of Oct. 25, 1827. Text: Doc. No. 451, House Docs., Vol. 11, 25th 
Cong., 2d Sess. 

324 Collection is reprinted in Appx. H., to Doc. No. 451, House Docs., Vol. n, 
25th Cong., 2d Sess., pp. 124-125. 

325 This is true. Delafield's Autobiography, written in later years, declares that the 
"difference should not have occurred, nor would it, if the missing Red-Line Map . . . 
could have been produced." This clearly means that Delafield held throughout that 
the proper line was through the Pigeon River. "Mr. Webster," he adds, "for some rea- 
son conceded a land route on the American side of the Long Lake by the Grand 
Portage, instead of adhering strictly to the water line of the treaty." It is quite evident^ 
from the voluminous papers of Major Delafield that he intended his Kamanistegua 
route as a strategic reply to Great Britain's unjustifiable Fond du Lac route: but that 
he always believed the proper route had been marked on Mitchell's Map by the 
Commissioners of 1783. His evidence, including the testimony of John Adams, was 
strong but, without the Red-Line Map it was not strong enough to force the British to 
abandon their St. Louis-Fond du Lac pretensions. His arguments therefore, explain 
his Autobiography, were "withheld and remain with my boundary papers." 


himself unable to say "whether the Commissioner . . . (Porter) pre- 
ceeded or followed his Agent (Delafield)," although, with the informa- 
tion from Major Delafield's Diary in our possession, we know that 
Delafield led and Porter followed his lead. Barclay says that he opposed 
Delafield's (Porter's) position at the Board meeting by expressing his 
opinion that "the true Long Lake was to be found at the St. Louis 
River. . . . Whereupon, the Agent (Delafield) remarked that 'in such 
case he would abandon the claim made in the said memorial, and ad- 
vance a claim to the Kamanistegua River as a boundary.' " This threat, 
adds Barclay, "was intended to induce me to give up the claim to the 
St. Louis River and was actually carried into execution at the meeting 
of the board in October, 1826. The object," he adds, ". . . . must be 
palpable. . . . Porter advances this larger claim that he may effect a 
liberal compromise by conceding half." 326 It was Barclay's opinion that 
such a change on the part of the American Commission was "incon- 
sistent in itself, inconsistent with the practice of all constituted courts 
and formal boards of appeal, and inconsistent with principle." And he 
urged that "this gross departure from consistency in the American 
Agent (and he here places the blame squarely upon Major Delafield), 
ought not to be allowed, but that the Government of the United States 
should be precluded by his first claim from making any other upon 
that subject, whereby, if the claim of Great Britain to the Long Lake 
of the St. Louis be not satisfactorily established, . . . the only authorized 
route for the boundary line would be the Pigeon River." 327 Unfortun- 
ately for Barclay's own consistency, he had himself done exactly what 

826 Doc. No. 451, House Docs. Vol. 11, 25th Cong., 2d Sess., p. 78. In this criticism 
Barclay was fully justified, as Delafield later acknowledged in his Autobiography 
(Mss. now in the possession of Brig. Gen. John Ross Delafield, Montgomery Place, 
Barrytown-on-Hudson, New York), p. 8, which says: "I now felt it incumbent to 
make an offset to the British claim by the Fond du Lac route and devoted my time 
to this object," collecting arguments in favor of the Kamanistegua route. 

327 Barclay's reasoning here is sound. The St. Louis route was not "satisfactorily 
established," and in the end, the Pigeon River route was the boundary. By the Webster- 
Ashburton Treaty of 1842, which settled unsettled boundary questions, it was pro- 
vided, in Art. II that the boundary should run, "through the middle of the sound 
between Isle Royale and the northwestern mainland, to the mouth of Pigeon River, 
and up said river, to and through the north and south Fowl Lakes, to the lakes of the 
height of land (between Lake Superior and the Lake of the Woods) ; thence, along the 
water communication to Lake Saisaginaga, and through that lake; thence, to and 
through Cypress Lake, Lac du Bois Blanc, Lac la Croix, Little Vermellia Lake, and 
Lake Nimecan, and through the several smaller lakes, straits, or streams connecting 
the lakes here mentioned, to that point in Lac la Pluie, or Rainy Lake, at the Chaudiere 
Falls, from which the Commissioners traced the line to the most northwestern point 
of the Lake of the Woods." (Senate Docs., Vol. 47, 61st Cong., 2d Sess., p. 652.) 


he blames on Delafield; for, having once argued in favor of a Pigeon 
River Route, he had resorted to the Fond du Lac route, and was still 
intent upon establishing that. 

Barclay argued his positive case for the St. Louis River skilfully and 
with logic, but the case itself was not sound. "It is," he said, "not only 
the most direct, but also the most continuous water communication, 
and the oldest route to the Lake of the Woods . . . the very course in- 
tended by the negotiators of the Treaty of 1783." 328 The fact that it 
had a "far less number of portages" than the routes farther north was 
eloquently pleaded in defense of the Fond du Lac route. Barclay even 
paints a picture of what a portage meant: 

"The canoes generally used on the waters northwest of Lake Superior . . . 
are about 28 or 30 feet in length, four and a half feet wide, and two feet deep. 
They are navigable by six canoemen (there called 'voyageurs'), are adapted 
to convey two persons, in addition, with three thousand weight of stores, goods, 
and baggage. This amount is divided into pieces (technically called) weighing 
each about ninety pounds, to facilitate the carriage of them across the portages. 
These pieces . . . are to be transported over the portages, from water to water, 
two at a time, upon the backs and shoulders of the men, in which manner the 
canoe also is to be carried. . . . Many of these portages are mountainous, most 
of them very rocky and rough, some are both; from which causes the labor and 
accidents to luggage, canoes, and men, are very much increased. Some of the 
portages require several days. . . . During these delays, and the consequent 
separation of stores, baggage, and proprietors, frequent losses are sustained by 
the depredations not only of the natives, but also of the voyageurs themselves, 
whose consciences become corrupted by scanty allowances, there rendered 
necessary. Before the long portages are completed, frequently some of the men 
are taken sick. . . . These are exposures which ought to be diminished in number 
as much as possible. . . ." 

Like Delafield, Barclay produced maps to sustain his argument; 329 
but they seem to prove only that the river St. Louis had been known 
since Charlevoix's time as "the Lake, or St. Louis River." The inference 
which he draws, that this proves it the Long Lake of the treaties is a 
non sequitur. He confidently eliminates the route through the Kam- 
anistegua River and Dog Lake, because "all lie entirely to the north of 
the northern most part of Isle Royale," while the river mentioned in 
the treaties must discharge south of Isle Royale. Therefore, as only the 
Pigeon and the St. Louis rivers so discharge, the choice must be be- 
tween them alone: and upon "five fold grounds," plus the opinions of 
the best-informed persons, he confidently declares for the St. Louis River 

328 Doc. No. 451, House Docs. Vol. 11, 25th Cong., 2d Sess., p. 83. 

329 List. Doc. No. 451, House Docs. Vol. 11, 25th Cong., 2d Sess., pp. 84-85. 


as the one intended by the Commissioners of 1783. Barclay also declares 
and with more reason that any claim for the Kamanistegua route is 
debarred by "the want of a survey thereof." 330 Indeed, he argues from 
this want, that "the American officers of the Commission never en- 
tertained a serious hope or intention of fixing the boundary in that 
route." This was of course true only in the event of Great Britain's 
abandonment of its Fond du Lac pretensions. Clearly, from the first 
discovery of the Kamanistegua route, Delafield had intended to press 
its claims only if Barclay pressed his Fond du Lac claim. Now that that 
contingency had arrived, he felt free to meet Fond du Lac with Kam- 
anistegua, and able to defend his case. And Commissioner Porter was 
quite ready to make his stand upon Delafield's arguments. 

The Board meeting 331 before which Barclay's attack upon Delafield 
had been made found no way of adjusting the conflicting claims; and, 
after a wearisome presentation and discussion of accounts, it was 
agreed, on October 27, 1827, that the Commissioners should exchange 
their respective reports in the City of New York, on December 24, 1827. 
"It appearing that there remains no further need for the continuance 
of this Board," says the final entry in the Journal, October 27, 1827, 
"the Commissioners declare it to be adjourned sine die." 332 

Three days later, October 30, 1827 Commissioner Porter informed 
the Secretary of State 333 that the negotiations had apparently reached 
an impasse. "I have been disappointed," he said, "in the expectation 
. . . that the British Government would instruct its Commissioner to 
relinquish his claim to St. George's Island," which he described as 
"the principal point in our present disagreement. ... If this were 
adjusted," he added, "I apprehended no serious difficulty in reconcil- 
ing our other differences, which were of minor importance." The 
British refusal of the compromises which he had suggested, Porter, not 
too generously, attributed to a British desire to upset the boundaries 
already established under article six, to which indignant objections had 
been raised in Canada: but it seems more likely that Barclay's aim in- 
cluded the larger objective, to annex to Canada the potentially im- 
portant area north of the St. Louis River. But, whatever the motives 
hidden or revealed, Delafield dealt only with facts when he wrote to 

830 Doc. No. 451, House Docs, Vol. II, 25th Cong., 2d Sess., p. 87. 

831 The minutes of the final deliberations of October 22, October 27, 1827, appear 
in the Journal. Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope 
I, Folder 2. It contains also a list of the maps submitted to the Board under Art. VII. 

338 The copy of these proceedings in the National Archives bears the certification 
"True Copy— Jos. Delafield." 

833 Porter to Clay, New York, October 30, 1827 (text: Mss. in National Archives, 
Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 1). 


Clay, on November 6, 1827: 334 "the business of the Commission is 
brought back to the same position in which it was at the meeting in 
October, 1826 335 and the whole subject has been concluded in conform- 
ity with the views of the respective Commissioners as recorded at the 
meeting and heretofore transmitted. The boundary line under the 
seventh article of the Treaty therefore is agreed to and determined 
through the St. Mary's River from the head of St. George or Sugar 
Island to Lake Superior; through Lake Superior to the northward of 
Isle Royale, and in the interior through Rainy Lake, Rainy River, and 
the Lake of the Woods, including its most northwestern point. 

"The disagreements are as to St. George or Sugar Island, in the St. 
Mary's River, and the water communication from Lake Superior to 
the Rainy Lake. The merits of these two questions remain as at the 
previous meeting, no new evidence or arguments having been advanced 
on the part of the British, and none were deemed necessary on ours. 
The respective Commissioners have agreed to exchange their separate 
and final reports on the 24th day of December next (1827), when I 
have no manner of doubt it will appear, that the claims I have had the 
honor to prepare and advocate will be amply sustained and justified, 
and those of the British agent be shown to be extravagant and un- 

"At the same time 'duplicates of their respective reports, declarations, 
statements and decisions and of their accounts and of the Journal of all 
the proceedings' will be delivered to me as directed in the Treaty, 
which together with a very extensive series of maps of actual surveys, 
including those which have the boundary line (so far as it is determined) 
marked upon them, I shall, as soon thereafter as practicable, present 
to you at the Department of State. . . ." 

The reports were not exchanged on December 24, 1827, however, 
and Delafield, on December 26, wrote to Clay to explain the reasons. 336 
Porter's report had reached him too late, and Barclay had left but one 
copy of his, and that was too voluminous to be transcribed in time. "It 
will require," said, Delafield ". . . twelve or fourteen days to copy it." 

It was therefore February 26, 1828, when Delafield dispatched to 

334 Text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope 
I, Folder 2. 

335 Joseph Delafield's argument, filed October 6, 1826 (text: House Docs., Vol. II, 
25th Cong., 2d Sess., pp. 24-31. Mss. in the National Archives) furnished the basis 
for the report of his chief, General Porter, the American Commissioner, dated "Black 
Rock, December 12, 1827" (text: House Docs. Vol. 11, 25th Cong., 2d Sess., pp. 
3-24. Mss. In National Archives). 

336 Delafield to Clay, December 26, 1827 (text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty 
of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope III, Folder 1. It is dated December 24, 1827). 


Clay, by the hand of his brother, William, "the separate report of the 
American Commissioner together with that of the British Commissioner 
under the Seventh Article of the Treaty of Ghent." 337 

These separate reports of the two Commissioners make each a con- 
siderable volume, 338 too considerable to be summarized here. But no 
detailed summary is needed, as each side stuck stubbornly to the position 
already indicated. A brief comparison of their arguments, however, 
will serve to make clearer the exact points of difference, and Major 
Delafield's controlling part in determining the American claims in- 
sisted upon by General Porter. 

Porter points out the fact that the Commission's duty had been to 
establish a definite line dividing America from Canada. He expressed 
satisfaction that agreement had been reached under the Sixth Article, 
but regretted that the Commission had failed to agree upon a complete 
line under the Seventh Article. The disagreement, he explained, con- 
cerned only two sections, first: the American Commissioner insisted 
that St. George's or Sugar Island, in the water communication be- 
tween Lakes Huron and Superior, should be left on the American, 339 
and the British Commissioner equally insisted that it should be on the 

887 Delafield to Clay, New York, Feb. 26, 1827 (text: Mss. in National Archives, 
Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 2). The maps, thirty four in 
number, he decided to carry himself to Washington at a later date. Delafield to 
Daniel Brent, March 31, 1828 (text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, 
Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 2). The separate reports of the Commissioners, 
in the original manuscript are in the National Archives, Idem, Envelope III, Folders 

838 Porter's Report is dated "Black Rock, State of New York, October 12, 1827" 
and bears the title "Separate Report of the American Commissioner under the 
Seventh Article of the Treaty of Ghent, December 24, 1827." It contains 46 closely 
written pages, and sixteen pages of "extracts from the argument of the agent of the 
United States (Joseph Delafield Esquire), setting forth so much thereof as refers to the 
Boundary Line from Lake Superior to the Rainy Lake, and more especially to his 
claim in behalf of the United States to the Long Lake on the River Kamanistegua. 
Filed Oct. 6, 1826, and referred to in the foregoing report." This extract is signed 
"Jos. Delafield, Agent of the United States, etc." Both Mss. are in the National Arch- 
ives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope III, Folders 1 and 2. It contains 
also appendices, pp. 67-79, with outline maps. 

Anthony Barclay's Report is dated "New York, October 25, 1827," and bears the 
title page: "Report of the British Commissioner Respecting the Boundary Line under 
the 7th art. of the Treaty of Ghent." It contains 190 closely written pages, appendices, 
A-S., with many outline maps. It is signed "Anthony Barclay." (Text: Ibid.) 

339 It was later, in Art. II of Webster-Ashburton Treaty, confirmed to America, 
Art. II declaring that the line should run "up the east Neebish channel, nearest to 
St. George's Island . . . into St. Mary's River, to a point in the middle of that river, 
about one mile above St. George's or Sugar Island, so as to appropriate and assign the 
said island to the United States." 


British side of the line. Secondly; they disagreed as to the course of the 
boundary from Lake Superior to the Chaudiere Falls, in Lac la Pluie, 
which lies between Lake Superior and the Lake of the Woods. The 
American Commissioner insisted that the line should pass from Lake 
Superior into the Kamanistegua River, and up that river, by the most 
continuous chain of water, to Chaudiere Falls. 340 The British Com- 
missioner, with equal determination, held that from Lake Superior 
the line should enter the mouth of the river St. Louis, and proceed up 
that river, by the most continuous water communication, to the same 
Chaudiere Falls, beyond which the two Commissioners had reached 

The disagreement over Long Lake and the course of the boundary 
from Lake Superior to Chaudiere Falls, in Lac la Pluie, was more com- 
plicated than that over St. George's Island; for some of the geographical 
landmarks upon which the Commissioners of 1783 had counted, had 
proved untrustworthy. Those Commissioners had assumed, from such 
evidence as was then available, that Isle Royale, Isles Phelipeaux and 
Long Lake were as represented upon their maps: but, by the time Dela- 
field's and Hale's surveyors had reached the region, and started their 
preliminary inspections, two of these, namely Isles Phelipeaux and 
Long Lake had ceased to be known by those names. Their identity 
and location, so vital to their problem of carrying out the terms of the 
Treaty of 1 783, were therefore matters of conjecture. Porter and Bar- 
clay agreed that the line must pass to the northward of Isle Royale, for 
the treaty so provided: but the American Commissioner held, as Dela- 
field had argued, that the Isles Phelipeaux were a cluster of islands 
named Pat6, between Isle Royale and the mainland, and that the line 
was meant to pass to the northward of them also. 341 In this the British 
Commissioner could not concur. 

"The next object," says Barclay's report, 342 "was to ascertain the 

840 This line, as General Porter explains in his report of December 12, 1827 (House 
Docs. 1 ith vol. 25th Cong., 2d Sess., Doc. 451, p. 4) is minutely described in the Jour- 
nal of the Commission, under date of 23d of October 1826. The Chaudiere Falls are 
in L« la Pluie (Ibid. p. 4). 

841 They agreed that Isle Royale was an island in Lake Superior, near its north- 
western coast, as marked upon the maps of the Commission. They agreed that the 
boundary line must pass to the northwest of it ^Ibid. p. 20). But Barclay thought that 
theM fictitknil illandl had been created by "the deceptive appearance of certain 
lands, resembUng islands, in the direction assigned to the Isles Phelipeaux by Mitchell's 
map," Of by Indian fables (Barclay's Report, Doc. No. 451, House Docs., Vol. 11, 
25th Cong., 26 Sett., p. 72). Porter, following Delafield's views, id end tied these islands 
with a group actual!) existing and known as Pat6. 

841 Doc. 451, House Doc*., Vol 1 1, 25th Cong., 2d Sess., pp. 72-73. 



Long Lake. On this point . . . both the American and British parties 
at first looked at Mitchell's map 343 for information. . . . Long Lake was 
found to be placed near the mouth of Pigeon River, on the northwestern 
shore of Lake Superior. . . . There is no lake whatever, much less a long 
lake, between Lake Superior and Pigeon River. That river empties into 
a small bay of Lake Superior, but such a bay as has no claim to be 
called a lake. . . . 

"At the meeting of the Commissioners, held in Montreal on the 25th 
day of October 1824, the Agent of the United States (Joseph Delafield) 
presented a memorial, in behalf of his Government, praying the Board 
to proceed forthwith to determine what was meant by the Long Lake; 
and submitted documents, and an argument, to show that the said 
lake is the place now known as the Pigeon River. 

"At this time the Commissioner of the United States appeared in 
accord in opinion with the agent of his government. The undersigned 
(Barclay) declined, however, to proceed to the settlement of that point 
separately, before the whole line of boundary was surveyed, and ready 
for adjudication; whereupon the consideration of the question was post- 

"At a subsequent day it became convenient for the Agent of the United 
States, as will be made to appear hereafter, to abandon this claim, and 
to urge a route 40 miles farther north, by the Kamanistegua River, 344 
as the water communication from Lake Superior, through the Long 
Lake, to the Lake of the Woods; in which claim, also, he was sup- 
ported by the American Commissioner." 

If these facts leave any doubts in the mind of the reader of these two 
reports that Joseph Delafield was the real author of the American case, 
the following words of Commissioner Porter should dissolve it: "It was 
the intention of the undersigned to have gone into a full and minute 

343 Barclay's report says: "Mitchell's map has no pretension to any authority . . . 
it is very defective, and extremely erroneous in numerous particulars; . . . among 
other errors, it has a group of three islands, . . . placed to the southeast of Isle Royale, 
and one of them nearly as large as the last-named island; ... no such islands have 
been discovered, nor have any such been found by his Majesty's naval surveyors, who 
have been engaged there for several years immediately previous to 1825. . . ." 
Doc. No. 451, House Docs., Vol. 11, 25th Gong., 2d Sess., p. 72. 

344 In his Mss. autobiography Joseph Delafield explains that after reaching the Lake 
of the Woods, in 1823, he had "returned to Lake Superior by the new route . . . known 
as the Dog River or Kamanistegua route, Mr. Whistler sketching as we returned as 
good a topographical map of the route as our rapid voyage permitted. I now felt it 
incumbent to make an offset to the British claim by the Fond du Lac route and de- 
voted my time to this object. The question to be determined was what was meant by 
the Long Lake of the Treaty of 1 783." 


examination of the maps and other evidence on the files of the Commis- 
sion, for the purpose of showing that the route by the Kamanistegua is, 
and that the other by the river St. Louis is not, the true boundary of the 
Treaty of 1 783. But this task has been so ably and successfully performed 
by the Agent of the United States, Mr. Delafield, in an argument or 
exposition, (which with its accompanying documents, were presented 
to the Board during its deliberations on this subject, and which form 
part of the regular exhibits to be laid before the umpire by whom the 
differences are ultimately to be settled) that he has deemed it most ad- 
visable merely to append to this report a copious extract from the argu- 
ment of the Agent, and to refer, as he now does, to that argument and 
its accompanying proofs for the grounds of the opinions he has above 
expressed in regard to the course of the boundary. . . ," 345 

Barclay, as conscious as was Porter that Delafield had made the 
American case, and the arguments that sustained it, insisted upon ad- 
dressing himself more to Delafield, the Agent, than to Porter, the Com- 
missioner. "It is humbly yet confidently hoped," he said, in one para- 
graph, "that, should all the other arguments be set aside, the versatility 
of the American Agent (Joseph Delafield) with whom the American 
Commissioner went pari passu in vacillation, will here be checked; and 
that his repeated formal claim to the Pigeon River as a boundary, sup- 
ported by a file of evidence, and the proposition of the Commissioner 
of the United States to compromise for that river, will be required to 
be accomplished, ... if the St. Louis River be not accepted." These 
words indicate a disposition on the part of the British Commissioner to 
revert to what had once been the common view, namely that the Com- 
missioners of 1783 meant that the line should start at the Pigeon River; 
but he made no suggestion for dropping his extreme claim to the St. 
Louis River as the starting point for the line. From what has been al- 
ready quoted it is evident that Delafield and Porter had been willing 
to accept a line through Pigeon River, before the British began urging 
their extreme southern route by Fond du Lac and the St. Louis River. 
But both now felt that Barclay's aim was that which Wm. McGillivray 
had suggested to Barclay's Agent, Hale, in the words: "If the route by 
the river St. Louis, or Fond du Lac, could be established as the bound- 
ary, it would be gaining a great extent of country." 346 It seems certain, 
and justifiable, that Porter's firm adoption of Delafield's Kamanistegua 
route was his method of defeating this ambitious desire of Barclay to 

846 The argument of the Agent and the other documents above referred to appear 
in House Documents, Vol. II, 25th Gong., 2d Sess., Doc. 451, pp. 24-31, and 32. 

346 McGillivray to Hale, Montreal, September 4, 1828. Text: House Docs., Vol. II, 
25th Cong., 2d Sess., Doc. 451, pp. 34-36. 


extend British territory at the expense of America. Porter could not 
deny Barclay's statement, that "no express order was ever given by the 
Commissioners for the survey of this route by the Kamanistegua River 
and Dog Lake; and if any actual survey was ever made of it . . . the 
same was only by the surveyors appointed on the part of the United 
States. . . ." 347 But the same was true of the Fond du Lac route, which 
Barclay was still defending as "the most direct and continuous water 
communication. ' ' 

It was quite natural and proper that Porter should give to Delafield 
the credit of having made the American case; for the State Department 
and Congress had designated that as part of the Agent's responsibilities. 
But it is remarkable that the British Commissioner, Barclay, in his 
separate report, should have chosen to direct his arguments at Major 
Delafield instead of the American Commissioner. Yet, the last twenty- 
four pages of his report are aimed exclusively at Major Delafield. At 
times scornful, at times sarcastic, at times very bitter in his remarks 
about the American Agent's work and claims, Barclay dismisses them 
as "the mere assertion of the Agent of the United States." He claims 
confidence "that neither all nor any of these extravagant propositions 
(of Major Delafield) . . . will be allowed by any umpire to whom these 
differences may be referred," 348 a statement later proved false by the 
Webster-Ashburton decision, as will later appear. 

So far as Major Delafield's active work was concerned, it had ended, 
with the Commission, on October 27, 1827. He had traced the bound- 
ary, by careful surveys made under his personal direction, from St. 
Regis to the Lake of the Woods, and had reached agreement with the 
British in all save two sections. 

But the effects of his work continued, by virtue of the fact that Amer- 
ica accepted most of his views as her own; and later most of them were 
confirmed in the Webster-Ashburton Treaty. 349 

To make clear how definitely the nation later stood upon Delafield's 

347 Barclay, after long and tedious argument, concludes that "the Kamanistegua 
River is a new route, opened since the year 1801; that it is longer, more dangerous, 
and more laborious, than the route by the great carrying place and the Pigeon River." 
(Doc. No. 451, House Docs., Vol. 11, 25th Cong., 2d Sess., p. 82). He contended that if 
the Commission really sought "the most direct and continuous water communication," 
the St. Louis River was best: and next best the Grand Portage and Pigeon River route. 

348 House Docs., Vol. n, 25th Cong., 2d Sess., Doc. No. 451, p. 102. 

349 No joint survey of the course of the boundary from the northwestern point of the 
Lake of the Woods to the mouth of Pigeon River, or the reverse, was made after that 
made under the direction of the Commission under Art. VII of the Treaty of 
Ghent until plans for its more definite demarcation were agreed upon in the Treaty 
of 1908. Joint Report upon the Survey and Demarcation of the Boundary, etc. Vol. 
IV, p. 7. 


arguments, it is necessary, at this point, to revert to what has been 
designated as Section I, the St. Croix - St. Regis part of the Canadian 
boundary, and show, in brief outline, how Webster and Ashburton 
received their Commission, and how they discharged it in such a way 
as to give final effect to most of Delafield's contentions. 

The files of the State Department, now established in the National 
Archives Building, contain a letter which graphically sums up the 
situation in January 1823, so far as the Maine boundary was concerned. 
It was written to John Quincy Adams, then Secretary of State, by Moses 
Greenleaf, 350 author of a map of Maine which England considered an 
authoritative map, as it was published in 181 5 "under the patronage 
of the Legislature of Massachusetts." In this letter Greenleaf speaks of 
"a line traced on the northern frontier as the supposed boundary." 
"I was informed, sometime since," he added, "that, in the discussions 
between the United States and British Commissioners on the subject 
of this part of the boundary, the British Commissioner drew from the 
line exhibited on this map an argument that the Commonwealth of 
Massachusetts . . . had, by the implied if not express sanction of its 
Legislature to such a map, virtually relinquished all claims to the 48th 
degree of latitude as the northwest angle of Nova Scotia and northeast 
boundary of Maine, and, having thus relinquished that point, could not 
contend for any other short of the highlands which divide the waters of 
the Penobscot and St. John." Greenleaf then explains why he had not 
spoken of this point earlier, and adds, "having now learned that the 
subject of the boundary is yet expected to be settled by further nego- 
tiation or compromise, and presuming that a new negotiation will of 
course bring up all former arguments ... I have felt it a duty to lose no 
time in communicating to you what is within my knowledge respecting 
the exhibition of the line in question on the map as a boundary, and 
the degree of sanction given it by the Legislature of Massachusetts. . . . 

"In preparing the map, I had ... no definite authority for determin- 
ing the precise situation of the northern boundary, but must necessarily 
be left to a collation of such maps as I could procure, to designate a 
line somewhat probable. . . The authorities on which I relied were a 
map of Canada by Vondewelden and Charland and a manuscript of the 
late Governor Sullivan, of Massachusetts. ... I did not think it proper 
absolutely to exhibit that or any other line as the actual boundary 
contemplated by the Treaty (of 1783), but directed the publisher to 
leave the whole northeastern extremity open, tracing, however, a very 

350 Greenleaf to John Quincy Adams, Williamsburg, Maine, 29 Jan. 1823. Text: 
Mss. in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope IV, Folder 2. 


faint line (not to be colored as was the rest of the outline) to indicate 
that somewhere in that direction the highlands would probably be 
found, and also to indicate that the probable boundary in that place 
was not yet ascertained. . . . Nothing ever took place to my knowledge 
which could imply the sanction of the Legislature to the correctness of 
the map. The only questions were whether the map was as good as any 
which could be obtained without farther and very extensive surveys; 
whether it was sufficiently full and accurate for present purposes, and 
sufficiently valuable to justify the Legislature in patronizing its publica- 
tion. . . . Whatever implied abandonment of claim, it was the act of an 
unauthorized individual, not that of the Legislature." 

From this statement, as from many others which might be quoted, 
it is evident that as late as January 29, 1823, no one knew what the 
boundaries of Maine actually were, although the questions had been 
under dispute for almost half a century. Clearly the time for a definite 
settlement had arrived: but the statesmen competent to settle the ques- 
tions involved had not taken command. For the remainder of the twen- 
ties, therefore, discussions continued, leading no whither: and, during 
Palmerston's long service as Foreign Secretary, 351 they continued 
without settlements following discussion. At times, instead of furnish- 
ing the information necessary to settlements, statesmen deliberately 
concealed it. Lieutenant Colonel R. E. Mills says, for example, that 
Palmerston, in the heat of this discussion, "had the King's map re- 
moved from the British Museum to the Foreign Office in order to 
prevent the Americans getting hold of it." 352 

At times the conflicts became menacing: and in 1838- 1839, Maine 
and New Brunswick came near to war. 353 In February, 1839, a party 
of lumberjacks from Canada entered the disputed Aroostook region, 
where they were soon confronted by American lumberjacks. A serious 
incident seemed likely when both Maine and New Brunswick called out 
militia, and Congress authorized the President to enroll 50,000 volun- 
teers for defense. Fortunately, President Van Buren set his face against 
war, 354 and sent General Winfield Scott to patch up a peace. By March, 

361 1 830- 1 834 and 1 835- 1 84 1. 

352 Lieut. Col. Dudley A. Mills' British Diplomacy and Canada, p. 609. 

353 The so-called Aroostook War was a series of border incidents over the right to 
cut timber and build roads. It never reached the status of war. 

354 On July 2, 1838, John Forsyth, Secretary of State, wrote President Van Buren, 
sending "copies of the separate reports of the two Commissioners . . . stating, in detail 
the points on which they have differed, and the grounds upon which their respective 
opinions have been formed; being all the information on the subject" of the Canadian 
Boundary, as requested by a resolution of the House of Representatives in a resolution 
of May 28, 1838. Text of that resolution, 25th Cong., 2d Sess., House Docs., Vol. II, 


1 839, Scott had succeeded, but both England and America realized that 
there must be something more than patching, if peace was to endure 
along the borders. And this conviction became stronger, in November, 

1 840, when the arrest in New York State of Alexander McLeod upon 
charge of murder and arson while engaged in participation in the 
Caroline raid again roused the war spirit. 355 Downing Street protested 
that the "pirates" on the Caroline had been attacked by a regular mili- 
tary expedition and that the charge of murder could not be made 
against them, even if it was granted that McLeod had been one of them. 
Palmerston, the Foreign Secretary, therefore "demanded" McLeod's 
immediate release: but the State of New York held him and Washing- 
ton could not comply with the demand. New York insisted upon her 
right to bring him to trial: and Palmerston warned the British Minister 
at Washington that McLeod's execution would produce war. Web- 
ster, Secretary of State, expressed the alarming view that "if a mob 
should kill him, war would be inevitable in ten days." 356 

Fortunately, McLeod was neither convicted nor mobbed. He stood 
his trial at Utica, proved that he had not been present at the raid, and 
on October 12, 1841, was declared by the jury "not guilty", after 20 
minutes absence from the court room. 357 

Such incidents, however, emphasized the imperative need of a com- 
plete and final settlement of the Canadian- American boundary line; 
and fortunately, at this moment, September 1841, the fiery Palmerston 
was succeeded in the Foreign Office by Lord Aberdeen, who had been 
Foreign Secretary in Wellington's Cabinet 358 and was temperamentally 
a man of peace and conciliation. He appointed Lord Ashburton, whose 
marriage to a Philadelphia lady had thrown him much with Americans, 
a special envoy to adjust matters between Canada and the United 
States. Fortunately the strange political situation which the succession 

No. 451. pp. 1-132, with maps. 

On July 3, 1838, these documents were "read and laid upon the table." The first 
item is the "Report of the American Commissioner, dated Black Rock, State of New 
York, December 12, 1827, signed by Peter B. Porter, and witnessed by Donald Frazer, 
Secretary to the Commission. Attached is an extract from the argument of the Agent 
of the United States (Joseph Delafield, Esq.) setting forth "so much thereof as refers 
to the boundary line from Lake Superior to the Rainy Lake, and more especially to 
his claim, in behalf of the United States, to the Long Lake on the river Kamanistegua 
filed October 6, 1826, and referred to in the foregoing report." 

355 "The Case of Alexander McLeod," in the Canadian Historical Review, XII 

(I930> PP- 165-167. 

356 Quoted, by Thos. A. Bailey, in Diplomatic History of the American People, p. 216. 

357 Quoted from Watt's Alexander McLeod, p. 1 59, by Thos. A. Bailey, in A Dip- 
lomatic History of the American People, p. 216. 

368 Mills' British Diplomacy in Canada, p. 689. 


of the Vice President, Tyler, to the Presidency had caused, left Daniel 
Webster still Secretary of State, 359 and Ashburton was met by a mind 
as conciliatory as his own. The two had met while Webster was visit- 
ing England in 1839, and it was soon evident that at last the old con- 
troversies over doubtful boundaries were to be settled by reason, which, 
as both statesmen realized, always offers a kind of adjustment which 
war can never effect. To both minds reason demanded an abandon- 
ment of the old attempts to agree upon an interpretation of the mass of 
documents which years of contest had piled up, and to attempt a com- 
promise line which neither would have chosen but which each could 
accept as the best possible solution of dangerous differences. As a result 
they left few official documents to puzzle the historian, their discus- 
sions being chiefly friendly chats. 

Webster, conscious of the difficulties which Maine, formerly part of 
Massachusetts, would be likely to make to any settlement surrendering 
any part of her claims to the northward, and conscious that Massachu- 
setts, his own state, would support her, quietly showed to the leaders of 
these two states a copy of the Red-Line Map which Sparks had found in 
Paris 360 and of Steuben's copy of the Mitchell Map, which confirmed 
its testimony to the soundness of the British claims concerning northern 
Maine. He made clear to them his own view, that America would gain 
more by compromising than by pressing claims which these maps did 
not sustain; and at the same time tried to explain to Ashburton why 
the Federal Government could not act until Maine and Massachusetts 

369 Sydney Smith, world famous for his caustic wit, which he delighted to turn upon 
the United States, once described Webster as "a living lie, because no man on earth 
could be so great as he looked." Quoted by Thos. A. Bailey, in A Diplomatic History 
of the American People, p. 219. 

360 When the Sparks Map became known in England, Webster was accused of having 
been guilty of underhand methods as the map seemed to confirm the British claims in 
Maine: but Webster's action was generously defended by Ashburton who argued that 
Webster was right not to present doubtful evidence which would certainly have in- 
jured his country's case (Bailey's Diplomatic History of the American People, p. 226). 
Palmerston later attacked Webster's "duplicity" in showing the maps to the Maine 
and Massachusetts representatives but not making them known in England: but he 
was himself later accused of similar duplicity, upon the ground that he learned of a 
British map better authenticated than the Sparks Map and favoring the U.S.A. as 
early as 1839; and had, for his own reasons, kept that knowledge to himself (Hunter 
Miller's Treaties and other International Acts of the U. S. A., Washington, 1934, IV, 
pp. 409-410). Ashburton, at the last moment, had been shown both the Sparks Map 
and the Steuben Red-Line Map, both emphasizing the strength of the British claims: 
but he made no attempt to reopen the conflict, content to have the dangerous matter 
settled as had already been agreed, and doubtless confident that he had got as much 
as his country could hope to gain peacefully. Lieut. Col. Dudley A. Mills' British 
Diplomacy in Canada, p. 694. 


were satisfied. His Lordship protested that he could not see why Eng- 
land should be asked to wait while the United States persuaded two 
of its member states to do as she wished them to do. Accustomed as 
he was to sovereign governments, he could not comprehend the prob- 
lems of a strictly limited government. But he waited, though impa- 
tiently, until, by dint of successive proposals, including a payment of 
8150,000 to each of the obstructing states, Webster had persuaded 
Maine and Massachusetts to consent to the compromise line agreed 
upon by the two negotiators. 361 

As a result a treaty was signed on August 9, 1842, 362 and eleven days 
later, on August 20, 1842, the Senate approved. In England it was 
attacked; but accepted on October 5, 1842. 

While the Maine boundary was the most immediate concern of 
Webster and Ashburton, they agreed also to settlements of the points 
which the Joint Commission under the Seventh Article of the Treaty of 
Ghent had left in dispute. They decided that St. George's Island was 
American property, and confirmed the line which Delafield and Porter 
had insisted upon. These words from the Second Article of the Webster- 
Ashburton Treaty — The Treaty of Washington — finally settled that 
dispute: "from the place the joint Commissioners terminated their 
labors under the Sixth Article of the Treaty of Ghent, to wit, at a point 
in the Neebish channel, near Muddy Lake, the line shall be run into 
and along the ship channel between Saint Joseph and St. Tammany's 
Islands, to the division of the channel at or near the head of St. Joseph's 
Island; thence, turning eastwardly and northwardly around the lower 
end of St. George's or Sugar Island, and following the middle of the 
channel which divides St. George's from St. Joseph's Island; thence up 
the East Neebish channel, nearest to St. George's Island, through the 
middle of Lake George; thence, west of Jonas' Island, into St. Mary's 
River, to a point in the middle of that river, about one mile above 
St. George's or Sugar Island, so as to appropriate and assign the said 
island to the United States; 363 thence, adopting the line traced on the 
maps by the Commissioners, through the river St. Mary's and Lake 
Superior, to a point north of Isle Royale, in said lake, one hundred 
yards to the north and east of Isle Chapeaux, which last-mentioned 

361 Ashburton was not allowed to see the Sparks Map until he had signed the Treaty. 
"If the secret had been known to me earlier," he wrote on Feb. 7, 1843. Quoted 
Mills' British Diplomacy and Canada, p. 703, "I could not have signed." 

362 Full details, Hunter Miller's Treaties and other International Acts, IV, pp. 
363-477. Text of the Treaty of Washington in Senate Docs., Vol. 47, 61st. Cong., 
2d Sess., pp. 650-656. 

363 Thj s was t h e fi na i answer to Barclay's prediction that no arbiter would assign 
the island of St. George to America. 


island lies near the northeastern point of Isle Royale where the line 
marked by the Commissioners (under Article VII) terminates. . . ." 

The same Article II settled the Long Lake dispute by rejecting the 
Fond du Lac route which Barclay had so ardently championed, and es- 
tablishing the Pigeon River route which each side had favored and then 

Joseph Delafield, in his Autobiography, 364 while recognizing this as 
almost what he had at first claimed in this region, calls attention to 
the fact that Webster's line passed a little south of it. "This difference," 
it says, "should not have occurred, nor would it, if the missing Red-Line 
Map of 1783 could have been produced. It has since been discovered 
in the private library of George III and I have reason to believe a 
copy . . . was in the possession of one of the American Commissioners, 
but inaccessible when wanted. 365 Mr. Webster, for some reason, con- 
ceded the land route on the American side of the Long Lake, by the 
Grand Portage, instead of adhering strictly to water line of the treaty. 
It is true the water line is impracticable in this as in other cases of falls 
and rapids, and that the concession is not material. Nevertheless, as a 
concession it is reasonable to conclude that he derived an ample equiva- 
lent in the adjustment of the more important and long disputed north- 
eastern boundary. 366 That the Long Lake of Mitchell's map, by the 
Grand Portage, was the true boundary as intended by the Treaty of 
1 783, I was prepared to substantiate by the written assurance of the 
venerable John Adams who distinctly remembered the fact. But, as no 
evidence short of the Red-Line Map would satisfy the British Commis- 
sioners, it was withheld and remains with my boundary papers." 

It is significant that, during the negotiation of this Webster- Ashburton 
Treaty, Lord Ashburton showed no disposition to insist upon the St. 
Louis River, which the British Commissioner, Barclay, had so persist- 
ently demanded, but was content with Pigeon River, a compromise 
between Kamanistegua and the Fond du Lac, and a compromise which 
Delafield and Porter had offered and which Barclay had refused. 367 

364 Mss. in hands of Brig. Gen. John Ross Delafield, Montgomery Place, Barrytown- 
on-Hudson, New York. 

365 Col. Dudley A. Mills, in his British Diplomacy in Canada, p. 609, says: "Palmer- 
ston . . . had the King's map (which had been placed in the British Museum in 1823) 
removed ... to the Foreign Office in order to prevent the Americans getting hold of 
it . . . Neither Peel, nor Aberdeen, nor Ashburton knew of its existence till 1843." 

366 For the particulars of the disputed claims etc., by the American and British 
Agents, see Vol. 11 of Executive Docs., 1837, 1838, No. 451. 

367 Art. II of the Webster- Ashburton Treaty thus defines the line running from the 
northeastern point of Isle Royale: "from the last-mentioned point, southwesterly, 
through the middle of the sound between Isle Royale and the northwestern mainland, 


The most important questions settled by this Webster-Ashburton 
Treaty, because the most potential of conflict, were regarding the 
claims of Maine and Massachusetts, which are outside the areas 
covered by Major Delafield's Diary. Lieutenant Colonel Dudley A. 
Mills, R. E. summarizes the results as follows: 

"(i) Great Britain got from Maine and Massachusetts 5,000 square miles; 
much of it worthless economically, but required for strategic reasons. 
(2) Maine and Massachusetts got from Great Britain: 

a. Forty square miles along the 45th parallel admitted to belong to 
Great Britain but occupied by Americans, and containing a position 
at Rouse's Point supposed to be of some strategic value. 

b. Resignation of doubtful claims to 40 square miles at the head of 
Connecticut River and to an island of about the same area in the 
channel between Lake Huron and Lake Superior. 

c. Resignation of a nominal claim to about 6,000 square miles west of 
Lake Superior which had already been practically abandoned in 
previous negotiations. 

d. Certain rights of navigation on the river St. John, which were valu- 
able to Maine but not a real equivalent in bargain, because the use 
of these rights by Maine lumberers was expected by both parties to 
benefit New Brunswick as much as Maine." 

"Of all the charges against British Diplomacy in relation to Canada," 
writes Mills, 368 "the most strenuous and the most persistent has been 
based on the Ashburton Treaty of 1842. 'Losing by neglect' is the charge 
on which British statesmen have been arraigned. 'Attempted theft' was 
their real crime." 

In view of our present knowledge, this seems far too strong an in- 
dictment. Indeed, any "indictment" would be too strong to be applied 
to a settlement by reason which in the long run benefitted both nations, 
and incidentally all nations; for it helped to move the world a little 
nearer to the point where reason shall become the basis of all inter- 
national intercourse. England had perhaps been the victor in the 
Maine boundary contest; but what she had yielded in the west may be 

to the mouth of Pigeon River, and up the said river, to and through the north and 
south Fowl Lakes, to the lakes of the height of land between Lake Superior and the 
Lake of the Woods; thence, along the water communication to Lake Saisaginaga, and 
through that lake; thence, to and through Cypress Lake, and Lac du Bois Blanc, 
Lac la Croix, Little Vermillion Lake, and Lake Namecan and through several smaller 
lakes, straits, or streams, connecting the lakes here mentioned, to that point in Lac 
la Pluie, or Rainy Lake, at the Chaudiere Falls, from which the Commissioners traced 
the line to the most northwestern point of the Lake of the Woods." 
368 Mills' British Diplomacy and Canada, p. 684. 


considered fairly to balance the account. But for both countries the 
balance was a credit balance; for each had yielded to reason. 


Major Delafield's field operations as Agent under the VII Article of 
the Treaty of Ghent ended when he had fixed the most northwestern 
point of the Lake of the Woods at 49 23 / 48 // . 369 Webster and Ashburton 
actually designated the line running south from that most northwestern 
point, which they altered to 49 23 , 55 // . 370 Their treaty reads: "thence 
. . . due south to its intersection with the 49th parallel of north lati- 
tude, 371 and along that parallel to the Rocky Mountains." 372 

To follow a parallel would appear easy: but even this definition was 
not sufficient to avoid dangerous uncertainties. It was, though defined, 
in need of determination. 373 In April, 1870, President Grant reported 
to Congress the discovery, recently made, that the commonly received 
boundary line near Pembina, North Dakota, was about forty seven 
hundred feet south of the true position of the 49th parallel, and that 
the line, if correctly run, would leave the Hudson Bay Company's 
Station at Pembina within the territory of the United States. "It (the 
line) should now be marked," he said, 374 "from the Lake of the Woods 
to the summit of the Rocky Mountains." Shortly, in compliance with 
his recommendation, Congress appropriated $50,ooo 375 for the survey. 

369 Porter wrote Clay, on October 18, 1826 (text: National Archives, Treaty of 
Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 1), that the two Commissioners have 
agreed and have placed a monument at the northwestern point of the Lake of the 
Woods, 49 23' 48". 

870 The Ashburton Treaty, Art. II gives it as 49 23' 55" north. 

371 On Oct. 18, 1826, Porter wrote to Clay (text: National Archives, Treaty of 
Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 1), referring to the President's assent to 
the proposition made by Mr. Barclay's letter to me "by direction of his government, 
to run a meridian line from the northwestern point of the Lake of the Woods to the 
parallel of 49 ° and place a monument at the point of intersection." He says that they 
have placed a monument at the northwest point of the Lake of the Woods, 49 23' 48 " 
as they had fixed it. 

372 Treaty of Washington, Art. II. 

373 The Treaty of 1908, Art. VI, provides that the line from the northwesternmost 
point of the Lake of the Woods to the summit of the Rocky Mountains was to have 
"the curvature of a parallel of 49 ° north latitude." (Text: Joint Report upon the Survey 
and Demarcation of the Boundary, etc., International Boundary Commission, 1931, 

p. 7)- 

374 Message of December 5, 1870, 41st Cong., 3d Sess. 

375 Text of the Act, Campbell and Twining, Reports upon the survey . . . Washington 
Government Printing Office, 1878, p. 19. This volume, of 624 pages contains the docu- 


At the time of the approval of this act, March 19, 1872, 376 as Secretary 
Hamilton Fish reminded the President when submitting the report, 377 
"the boundary between the United States and Great Britain had been 
surveyed and adjusted from the Atlanticjto the northwestern angle of the 
Lake of the Woods. The line," he added, has "likewise been surveyed 
and adjusted from the summit of the Rocky Mountains to the Georgian 
Bay/' leaving undetermined only "the line between the northwest 
angle of the Lake of the Woods and the summit of the Rocky Mountains, 
the water boundary upon the Pacific Ocean provided for by article I 
of the Treaty of 1846, 378 and the line between the portion of the terri- 
tory ceded by Russia to the United States under the Treaty of 1867 and 
the possessions of Great Britain." The part thus undetermined after 89 
years seems astonishingly large, but most of it had been defined, though 
so vaguely as not to insure that those dwelling near the line could be 
certain whether they lived upon British or American soil. What was 
needed was a line of perfect definiteness, and this the Commission gave, 
but without the promptness 379 that should perhaps have been shown. 
Various circumstances, 380 unnecessary to enumerate, delayed the work, 
and it was February 23, 1877, when President Grant informed the 
House of Representatives in a message, 381 that the work was completed, 

ments relating to the work and is very comprehensive. Cit. p. 19. 

376 The survey was provided for by Act of March 19, 1872, "an act authorizing the 
survey and marking of the boundary between the territory of the United States and 
the possessions of Great Britain, from the Lake of the Woods to the summit of the 
Rocky Mountains." The President was authorized to cooperate with the Government 
of Great Britain in the appointment of a joint commission for determining such 
boundary line between these points. The text of this Act of March 19, 1872, is given 
on p. 19 of the Report of the Commissioner, in Campbell and Twining, Reports upon 
the Survey . . . etc. 

377 Fish to Grant, Dept. of State, Feb. 23, 1877. Text in Campbell and Twining, 
Reports upon the Survey . . . etc. Washington Government Printing Office, 1878, 

PP- 5-7- 

378 "Under Article XXXIV of the Treaty of Washington," Secretary Fish wrote to 
President Grant, on February 23, 1877 (text: Campbell and Twining. Reports upon 
the survey . . . authorized by an act of Congress approved March 19, 1872, pp. 5-7), 
"the question as to what was the proper water-line through the channel which 
separates Vancouver's Island from the continent, was submitted to the arbitration of 
the Emperor of Germany, pursuant to whose award and the protocol of March 
10, 1873, such a line was ultimately fixed and determined." 

379 The final records and maps were signed in London on May 29, 1876. Campbell 
and Twining, p. 6. 

380 One was the inadequacy of the appropriation of 850,000 when General Hum- 
phreys had estimated on Si 00,000. 

381 Text: Senate Ex. Doc. No. 41, 44th Cong., 2d Sess. It is quoted on p. 5 of Camp- 
bell and Twining, Report upon the survey of the Boundary . . . from the Lake of the 
Woods to the summit of the Rocky Mountains. 


and laid before it the detailed reports of the Commission. "These re- 
ports," he said, "announce the completion of the labors of this Com- 
mission, whereby the entire boundary line between the United States 
and the possessions of Great Britain is marked and determined, except 
as to that part of the territory of the United States which was ceded by 
Russia under the Treaty of 1867." 382 

Although this Russian cession and its at times dangerous boundary 
disputes are remote from the Diary which is being introduced, and 
have no definite relationship to Major Delafield's work, a few words 
should perhaps be devoted to them, in order to complete the story of 
American-Canadian boundary controversies. 

Only four years after the signing of the Convention of 1 8 1 8, and the 
Rush-Bagot Agreement for disarmament on the lakes, the Emperor of 
Russia, by a royal edict of February 1822, declared the region between 
Bering Straits and the parallel 51 exclusively Russian, a claim which 
the United States was by no means willing to accept. On March 30, 
1822, Mr. Adams, as Secretary of State, protested the claim but the 
Russian Minister, Chevalier Pierre de Politica, refused to discuss what 
his Emperor had asserted. Therefore, President Monroe, in his message 
to Congress in December, 1822, suggested the idea of actively occupying 
Oregon. Any such drastic move was prevented, however, first by the 
failure of Congress to have such a course carried out, and secondly by 
Politica's successor, Baron de Tuyl, who suggested negotiation. This 
wise proposal was accepted, but Adams warned de Tuyl that America, 
north as well as south, was closed to the colonization of any European 
powers, thus establishing one of the principles for Monroe's subsequent 
message of December 1823 which announced what later became known 
as the Monroe Doctrine. 

England, joint occupier with America, of the region in dispute with 
Russia, suggested joint negotiation with Russia: but Monroe and Adams 
chose to act independently and, through Henry Middleton, Minister to 
St. Petersburgh, effected a compromise with Russia, signed in April, 
1824, by which the line 54 40' was established as the boundary between 
the United States and Russia's American possessions. This ruled Russia 
out of the vast region south of 54 40', and left it to be divided between 

382 This was true, for the Treaty of 1846 had already denned the boundaries west of 
the Rocky Mountains. But that treaty too had left behind disagreements upon points, 
disagreements which were peacefully settled, however, by reference of differences to 
the Emperor of Germany who acted as arbiter, and gave, on October 21, 1872, a 
decision which both England and America accepted as final and conclusive. It was 
therefore correct to say, as General Grant said on February 23, 1877, that the long 
conflict was over; the Canadian boundary defined. 



England and America when their agreement for joint occupancy should 
come to an end. 

In 1826, Canning sought to discover with Rush and Gallatin a 
formula which both nations would accept, and to terminate joint 
occupancy; but he failed, and Adams wrote to Gallatin, as to the cause 
of the failure: "If the same inflexible disposition which you have found 
prevailing upon the subject of colonial trade, and of which indications 
so distinct have been given upon the boundary question and the naviga- 
tion of the St. Lawrence, should continue unabated, our last resource 
must be to agree upon the renewal for ten years of the Convention of 
181 8. " 383 Before the expiration of the joint occupation agreement, it was 
so extended by means of two conventions, a formal treaty 384 and a 
commercial convention. 385 


At the time of this extension, the Oregon region was scarcely an 
occupied country, and its value to either nation was regarded as 
doubtful. But by 1841 immigrants were rushing into it in such numbers 
that a bill was presented to Congress authorizing the erection of forts 
along the trails generally followed. England was at once alarmed, 
and Palmerston announced in the House of Commons that the building 
of such forts "would be a declaration of war." 386 Fortunately Congress 
refused to pass the bill which by 1842 was only a memory. 

Webster and Ashburton, in negotiating the Treaty of 1842, wisely 
declined to attempt to settle the Oregon dispute: but, after that treaty 
had removed the causes of conflict east of the Rockies, frequent at- 
tempts at compromise were made by each country. Neither was, how- 
ever, willing to yield enough to satisfy the other. Then came the frenzied 
Presidential Campaign of 1844, m which the Democratic Convention 
blatantly coupled Texas, which they were determined to annex, and 

383 John Quincy Adams to Albert Gallatin, March 20, 1827. Mss., unpublished, 
Gallatin Papers, New York Historical Society, III. 

384 The treaty was concluded August 6, 1827; ratification advised by the Senate 
February 5, 1828; ratified by the President February 21, 1828; ratifications exchanged 
April 2, 1828; proclaimed May 15, 1828. Text: Senate Docs., Vol. 47, 61st Cong., 
2d Sess., pp. 643-644. It is signed by Albert Gallatin Minister to England, Charles 
Grant, of the Privy Council and Henry Unwin Addington Esq. 

385 The Commercial Convention was concluded August 6, 1824; ratification ad- 
vised by the Senate January 9, 1828; ratified by the President January 12, 1828; 
ratifications exchanged April 2, 1828; proclaimed May 15, 1828. Text: Senate Docs. 
Vol. 47, 6 1 st Cong., 2d Sess. pp. 645-646, signed by Albert Gallatin, Minister to 
Great Britian, Charles Grant, of the Privy Council, and Henry Unwin Addington Esq. 

386 Quoted, Thomas A. Bailey, Diplomatic History of the American People, 231. 


Oregon up to 54 40', which they proclaimed themselves ready to fight 
for. They carried the election, and James K. Polk, in his inaugural 
address of March 4, 1845, bound by the echoes of his campaign, de- 
clared America's title to the country of Oregon clear and unquestion- 
able, a statement which few intelligent Americans, speaking without 
political motives, would have been willing to support. Three times 
already, during the long contest, the United States had offered to com- 
promise upon the 49th parallel, thus virtually admitting the British 
claims north of that line: but England had insisted that the Columbia 
River was as great a compromise line as she could accept. In the end, 
however, she did consent to the 49th parallel, a wise and conciliatory 
move, and costing little, as was then thought, for on December 21, 1845, 
Ashburton told Rush, that in his opinion "the dispute on the shores of 
the Pacific is comparatively of little value to either country, and danger 
can alone result from the manner and tone of controversy. ... I am . . . 
of the opinion that this new country when formally opened to European 
settlement will not long be governed from either Washington or West- 
minster. It will and should take care of itself and may become a great 
distinct people." 387 

While the Treaty of 1 846 which secured this settlement was in process 
of negotiation, Andrew Jackson declared, "Texas the key to our future 
safety," and added, with characteristic orthography, "We cannot bear 
that Great Britain have a Ganedy on our west as he has on the north." 388 
But the spirit of compromise prevailed over such fears, if the word 
"fear" may properly be connected with Jackson, and the Treaty passed 
into law. 389 Its first article thus defines the boundaries: 

"From the point of the forty-ninth parallel of north latitude, where the 
boundary laid down in the existing treaties and conventions between the 
United States and Great Britain terminates, the line of boundary . . . shall be 
continued westward along the said forty-ninth parallel ... to the middle of 

387 Text of original in New York Historical Society, Album on p. 66. 

388 Quoted, Marquis James, Andrew Jackson, p. 482. 

389 Treaty Establishing Boundary West of the Rocky Mountains; concluded June 
15, 1846; ratification advised by the Senate, June 18, 1846; ratified by the President, 
June 19, 1846; ratifications exchanged July 17, 1846; proclaimed, August 5, 1846. 
Text: Senate Docs. Vol. 47, 61st Cong., 2d Sess., pp. 656-658, signed by James 
Buchanan and Richard Packenham. 

The Treaty of 1908, in Article VII, provided for making more definite the marking 
of the boundary line from the Rockies to the Gulf of Georgia as defined in Article I 
of the Treaty of June 15, 1846 (text: Joint Report upon the Survey and Demarcation 
of the Boundary between the United States and Canada; International Boundary 
Commission, Vol. IV, p. 8). In Article VIII it also provides for the more accurate 
marking of the international boundary line from the 49th parallel, along the middle 


the channel which separates the continent from Vancouver's Island; and thence 
southerly through the middle of the said channel, and of Fuca's Straits, to the 
Pacific Ocean. Provided, however, that the navigation of the whole of the said 
channel and straits, south of the forty-ninth parallel . . . remain free and open 
to both parties." 

This with the exception of the San Juan Island controversy and other 
minor disagreements, ended a contest of ninety-four years, 390 which 
had at times seriously threatened to merge into a senseless war: and it 
showed that, despite all the bluster of Americans and the quiet determ- 
ination of the English, reason was to be allowed to rule instead of force 
being called upon to ruin the two nations. 

"A century of peace and three thousand miles of undefended fron- 
tier," is a record of which British and Americans alike are justly proud. 
By narrow margins, sometimes very narrow, we have escaped war on the 
one hand, and fortification on the other. Investigation and adjudication 
have here been shown to be more effective than wars have been else- 
where in settling boundary disputes, economic disputes, disputes over 
fishing rights, navigation and power development, and, most difficult 
of all, disputes over responsibility for injuries to life and property which 
claimed sovereign protection. "Vital interests," "national interests," 
"national honor," "racial pride," "religious prejudices"; these and 
many more have been involved in the long struggle along the three 
thousand miles of frontier, unsettled at first, then sparsely occupied, 
then peopled by large and determined populations. Throughout, there 
has been neither weakness, fear nor indifference: but the dominating 
motif has been a belief in the methods of reason rather than faith in the 

of the channel which separates Vancouver Island from the mainland and the middle 
of the Haro Channel and the Fuca Strait to the Pacific, as defined in Article I of the 
Treaty of June 15, 1846, and as determined by the award made on October 21, 1872, 
by the Emperor of Germany as arbiter. Text: Joint Report upon the Survey and De- 
marcation of the Boundary between the United States and Canada. International 
Boundary Commission, Vol. IV, p. 9. 

390 1 783-1877. This did not mean, of course, that the boundary was now settled for 
all time. Indeed, it has been found necessary to resurvey and remark it all. For ex- 
ample, the boundary through the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes was reestab- 
lished by the International Waterways Commission under the special provisions of 
Article IV and V of the Root-Bryce Treaty of April 1 1 , 1 908. And seven reports of 
the International Boundary Commission cover the re-demarcation of the remaining 
sections of the Canadian-American boundary line. James H. Van Wagenen and 
Noel J. Ogilvie to the Secretary of State and the Canadian Minister of the Interior 
Oct. 27, 1 93 1. Joint Report upon the Survey and Demarcation of the Boundaries 
etc., p. 1. These reports are published under the authority of the International 
Boundary Commission. But the readjustments have altered matters of detail only, 
the main lines remaining the same as those laid down by the first Commissions. 


methods of force. Neither side has attained, in every case, all that it felt 
entitled to claim; but both sides have shown themselves ready to debate, 
willing to arbitrate, and, most important of all, prepared to accept 
verdicts, even when their acceptance has meant a reduction of their 
conscientious claims, the abandonment of things once thought to be 
their own. 

No two nations with extensive common boundaries can fairly hope 
to escape new conflicts of interest, new causes of friction: but a clear 
knowledge of what America and England have faced, and what es- 
caped by the right use of reason, should help them and others to be 
as wise in the future as these two have been in the past. For that reason, 
every phase of the long contest, by which the Canadian-American 
boundary line, from being dangerously vague, has become perfectly 
distinct by mutual agreement, is important in the story of western 
civilization. At times Canadians and Britons, at times Americans, have 
felt a passing resentment over the clever diplomacy, the at times too 
keen trading capacity of the other; but in the end each has decided to 
be content with its bargains, bargains which have meant, at any rate, 
lasting peace. 

In so far as Joseph Delafield contributed to that result, and he did 
make substantial contributions, his Diary of the eleven years of his 
"dwelling in the wilderness" deserves respectful attention. 


In preparing this Diary for publication, the editors have felt that it 
should be presented as written, with all of its quaint spellings 391 as such 
oddities may serve to emphasize the fact that it was written, not for 
public perusal, but to refresh its author's mind when preparing argu- 
ments in support of what he considered America's just claims. Many 
of the entries were hurriedly penned, after days of hard labor in a wild 
and practically unsettled country; but the Diary as a whole, still pre- 
served in twelve neatly written little volumes, shows astonishingly ac- 
curate research into the history of disputed questions, and an unusual 
ability to mass arguments, and make them, in many cases, complete 

Such research was of course impossible in the field where the Diary 
was written: but was carried on, between seasons, in Washington and 
New York, where collections of old maps, and early documents were 

391 The editors have, however, for convenience in reading, generally extended the 
abbreviations and made the capitalization conform to modern practice. 


available. Major Delafield's eleven years with the Commission were 
therefore complete years, the open seasons being devoted to work on 
the border, and the inclement seasons to patient study at home or in 
the nation's capital. The apparently casual references in the Diary 
are therefore far from casual. They represent conclusions based upon 
accurate knowledge, systematically acquired from the best available 

Varied forms of place names and of proper names appear in the 
Diary, the reason being that, even in the early nineteenth century, such 
names had not taken forms uniform in all sections. At first Major 
Delafield's spelling was largely phonetic, as the Britons with whom he 
came into contact were unable to pronounce French names properly, 
and spelled as they pronounced. As he progressed along the boundary, 
and came into closer contact with the French Canadians, however, he 
adopted both their pronunciation and their spelling, which were more 
conventional and more definitely French. 

While somewhat lax in regard to names, spelling and diction, in his 
personal Diary, Major Delafield was most careful and accurate in the 
preparation of the official reports of the Commission most of which 
were compiled by him, signed by him, and by him presented to the 
State Department. These show a man of education and exceptional 
ability, always ready to learn, but firm in maintaining conclusions 
once reached by research. To this firmness America owes its success in 
preserving for its own people the rich triangle lying between the St. 
Louis River and the Pearl, and extending to Lac La Pluie, or the 
Rainy Lake. This triangle, clearly shown on the maps produced in this 
edition of the Diary, now contains some 200,000 Americans, and in- 
cludes the prosperous City of Duluth. Had not Major Delafield success- 
fully resisted the British claim that the line follow the St. Louis River, 
and had not the Commissioner, General Peter B. Porter, accepted 
Delafield's conclusion, these would now probably lie within the Domin- 
ion of Canada. 

Was it Delafield's own idea to put forward a claim to the Kaman- 
istegua route as an offset to the British claim of the St. Louis River? 
The Diary makes clear the fact that it was, and describes the laborious 
journey which its author and "Mr. Whistler" made over that route, in 
order to prepare what it describes as an "offset to the British claim by 
the Fond du Lac route," "Mr. Whistler (George Washington Whistler, 
a draftsman attached to the Commission) sketching ... as good a 
topographical map of the route as our rapid voyage permitted. ..." 

The "Mr. Whistler" here mentioned later became the father of the 
artist, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, who after having been expelled 
from West Point, attempted to follow in his father's footsteps by taking 


service as a draftsman with the United States Coast Survey. With more 
genius than his father, James Abbott McNeill Whistler lacked the qual- 
ities which had made that father so valuable a member of Major Dela- 
field's surveying party. In the end James was ignominiously dismissed 
from the Coast Survey; but he subsequently won fame as one of the 
leading artists of his day. 

In the Diary one looks in vain for any reference to the Rush-Bagot 
Agreement for disarmament on the lakes, probably the most important 
and far-reaching achievement of the period. The reason is evident: 
Delafield was not writing a history of the period, but recording his 
personal experiences. But his frequent references to points which ap- 
pealed to his trained military mind as suitable for military establish- 
ments show that he was alert to the military interest of his country, as 
well as to her territorial claims, and may indicate that the Americans 
of that day were not so certain as are we that such a boundary can safely 
be left to the guardianship of reason and a sense of fair play. 

Of great interest to the geodesist is Major Delafield's description of 
triangulation. Observations made at night on large bonfires served the 
purposes of the time, but could hardly be accepted by modern sur- 
veyors. However, where trigonometric methods were used, the work was 
more accurate than surveys undertaken in other parts of the country 
and, up to that time, the most precise yet attempted. 

Aside from his official duties as Agent, Major Delafield's chief in- 
terest seems to have been the study of mineralogy. Many pages of the 
Diary present careful, informed observations upon rocks and fossils: but 
the editors have relegated the more extended of these to small print 
and to the notes 392 as not germane to the subject in hand, i.e. surveying 
activities along the boundary. 

It is unfortunate that the Diary was not made public at the time of 
the filing in the State Department of the official records of the Com- 
mission and its surveys. Its early publication might have prevented 
some needless controversies, as it would have settled some moot points, 
and thus helped successive Commissioners in the work of determining 
the line from St. Regis to the Lake of the Woods, almost one half of 
"the unfortified boundary." 

392 The omissions are indicated in the text by series of dots. 




May 3, i8iy to September 5, 1817 

1 8 1 7. Saturday, May 3d. Left New York in steam boat Chancellor 
Livingston with Gen'l Porter, 1 Majr. Fraser, 2 Mr. Adams 3 & attend- 
ants and arrived in Albany on the 4th. 

5th, 6th, 7th & 8th. Spent at Albany making preparations &c. 

9th. Left Albany with Genl. Porter passing thro Troy, Waterford 
to Sandy Hill where we were joined by Majr. Fraser, slept at Fort 
Anne and in the morning of the 10th arrived at Whitehall, visited the 
squadron lying in ordinary consisting of the Confiance & Linnet prize 
ships & the Saratoga, Ticonderoga & Eagle, the latter was built in 
1 7 days, a fine vessel, in the afternoon embarked in the sloop Planet & 
were wind bound in the drowned lands until the 13th when we visited 
the works at Ticonderoga,- extensive & do not appear exposed to the 
high land on the S.W. on acct. of its distance altho the garrison were 
driven out by the enemies' possession of said high land — also viewed 
Crown Point from the vessel. Works appear in better preservation and 
very extensive. 

14th. Stopped at Essex and at Plattsburgh where we landed Mr. 
Adams & attendants with the apparatus for St. Regis & continued on 
— passing over the waters where McDonough fought his battle, enter- 
ing the land noticed a fort within the U. S. said to have been occupied 
by the British but 17 years ago, cleared out at the Custom House on 
the lines about sundown, and arrived at St. Johns early on the 15th 

1 General Peter Buel Porter, of Niagara County, New York, American Commissioner 
under Articles VI and VII of the Treaty of Ghent. His commission was dated January 
16, 1816, and his oath as Commissioner was taken before Chief Justice Smith Thomp- 
son, of New York (text: Journal, p. 7). 

2 Major Donald Fraser, of New York, was named as American Secretary to the 
Commission on the Canadian boundary on May 23, 181 7 (Journal, p. 8). Stephen 
Sewell, of Montreal, was named as British Secretary of the Commission at the same 
time. They drew lots as to which should be Secretary and which Assistant Secretary 
and Sewell won first place, becoming Secretary. Sewell resigned on June 4, 181 9, 
and Fraser became Secretary (Journal, p. 31), with Dr. John Biggsby as Assistant 
Secretary (Journal of July 24, 1822, p. 44). 

8 David P. Adams, of Boston, Principal Surveyor of the boundary commission of 
which Porter was nominal head, but of which Delafield soon became the active head. 


and on that day crossing La Priarie (La Prairie) to the ferry below 
Montreal reached the city by 2 o'clock, learned that Col. Ogilvy 1 
had left for St. Regis, having previously made all necessary preparations 
for our party here. In the evening were joined by Col. Hawkins. 

1 6th. Made preparations to join Col. Ogilvy at St. Regis by order- 
ing the baggage to La Chine — visited the churches &c, not remark- 
able. Not admitted to the nunneries, but on certain days. Weather 
moderate and pleasant; the day before, in crossing La Priarie toward 
Montreal, experienced very cold weather and a snow storm. 

May 1 7th. In the afternoon left Montreal and reached La Chine — 
a very handsome ride. The island being in high cultivation, and the 
shores low and easy of ascent. A ridge of commanding high land runs 
nearly parallel with the shore about & from a quarter to half a mile 
distant. Rapids three miles below La Chine, immediately opposite 
Montreal & between yi and ^ mile distant is Grant's Island of St. 
Helena. The British contemplate fortifying this position, 2 taking the 
island in exchange for Citadel Hill, now occupied by the fort for bar- 
racks, etc. & where is now sinking a large reservoir to supply the town 
with water. This hill is commanding, but without fortifications, nor 
does the island appear fortified at any point — Chataga settlement & 
point opposite La Chine & is a prominent point. Cochnarwaga settle- 
ment also opposite appears a more eligible point for an embarkation. 
A canal is contemplated thro the flats, from La Chine to Montreal, 
said to be 9 miles. 

May 1 8th. Proceeded to Point Clear, a Canadian settlement 9 
miles from La Chine. Country continues well cultivated — land very 
rich and level — the shores low. From thence to the upper ferry at 
the head of the Isle de Peion and the — end of Montreal Island where 
comes in the Ottonwa (Ottawa) or Grand River, running by many 
islands of various sizes, by which we pass in crossing the ferry on the 
Moine could procure no other means of transportation than the 

1 John Ogilvy, of Montreal, was born in Scotland about the year 1 769, came to 
Canada in 1790 and became a partner in the firm of Parker, Gerrard & Ogilvy which 
joined with Forsyth, Richardson & Co., and became the XY Company. John Mac- 
donald in his autobiography, says that in 1 798 John Ogilvy was at the head of the XY 
Company. He signed in 1804 the agreement by which the XY Company and North 
West Company were amalgamated. His commission as Commissioner under Article 
VI was dated June 13, 1816. His oath was taken before Jonathan Sewell, Chief Justice 
of Lower Canada (text: Journal, pp. 3-5). Ogilvy died at Sandwich, Upper Canada, 
on Sept. 28, 1 81 9, and Anthony Barclay became Commissioner. 

8 This is the first reference in the Diary to plans for fortifications along the Ca- 
nadian border, or upon disputed areas: but it is by no means the last. 


calaches, 1 which are in general use, reached "The Cedars" the first 
stage 1 1 miles. Country rich & cultivated, settled by Canadians — Cath- 
olic Churches in all these settlements. The river obstructed by many 
islands and rapids. 

19th. Proceeded on to Coteau de Lac 2 7 miles, a small settlement — 
a block house and a fort by the rapids. Fort appears strong, and outer 
works with a deep ditch, covers the fort, which is intercepted by the 
locks of the canal — a garrison of 50 men, and is the staff head'qrs for 
the corps of engineers. Point Diable about a mile below Coteau is 
difficult to pass coming up — from the Cedars to Coteau are few if 
any islands. The rapids at Coteau are passed by a lock — another rapid 
just above. From this to MacDonald's Point, which is the entrance of 
Lake St. Francis is 3 miles — at the landing lie 2 immense anchors, 
intended for Kingston, weighing each Soj4 hundreds — at this point 
we embarked in our baggage batteaux up the lake which nowhere 
appears to exceed 3 or 4 miles in width. Rowed 14 miles to McPherson's 
where we lodged. Country not so well cleared or settled but rich land. 
The boundary line between the two provinces is at Point di Bode — 
about the middle of the lake. 

20th. Went on to McLaughlin's 7 miles — on this point is a block 
house. The River Raisin enters the lake on the N.W. side of this point. 
A little island lies off its mouth called Island of Raisins, from its growth 
of grapes. In the river is better fishing than in the lake, in Spring & 
Fall. For this last route the land is mostly marsh & covered with wood 
— after leaving the block house on McLaughlin's Point the islands 
in the lake increase, to Charlottenbergh is 7 miles, from thence to 
St. Regis on the opposite shore is 4 or 5 miles. The island of St. Regis 
intervening between the two latter places — arrived at the village of 
St. Regis 3 in the afternoon, having first stopped at Col. Ogilvy's camp 
a little north of the village on the Isle de St. Regis. St. Regis contains 
but one or two English or American residents. A Catholic Priest is the 
tribunal to which the natives on all occasions refer. The Indians are 
civil and docile, but when in liquor. Attended vespers in the church, 
where there was an appearance of devotion and much decency — none 
but females present, who were mostly covered with dark cloth mantles 
in lieu of the common blanket, adding to the solemnity. In the evening 

1 Caliche, a light, low carriage of French origin, "sorte de capote qu'on portee les 

'Perhaps meant for Cote-du-Lac, in memory of Cote d'Or, a department of Bur- 
gundy, or Cotes-du-Nord, a department of Britanny, in France. 

3 By the VI Article of the Treaty of Ghent, under which the boundary commission 
was to operate, St. Regis was the point of beginning for their operations. 


was joined by Mr. Adams and Mr. Bird 1 and attendants with the 
astronomical apparatus, they having crossed from Plattsburgh thro 
the Chategea Woods over exceeding rough roads. 

2 1 st. Crossed early in the morning to the Isle de St. Regis, and 
encamped on a point opposite the village a little S. W. of the British 
camp, which Mr. Adams & myself proposed to call Treaty Point 2 — 
most of the day engaged in arranging encampment — clearing the 
grounds. Indians bring in supplies of venison, milk, &c. 

May 2 2d. Engaged preparing camp — and arrangements for pro- 
ceeding to business — discovered about a mile distant to the S. on the 
opposite bank a quantity of ice & snow. The weather warm and 
pleasant. The boat channel is on the North side of this island because 
more direct, but sufficient water on the South side for all purposes of 
the river. 

May 23d. The Commissioners met at St. Regis, and adopted some 
preliminary regulations and adjourned to meet on the 26th at Genl. 
Porter's Marquee on the island. It was arranged that Mr. (Stephen) 
Sewell be the Secy, of the Board, Majr. (Donald) Fraser Asst. Secy. 

May 24th. Accompanied Col. Ogilvy and Genl. Porter to Corn- 
wall, a small settlement on the North shore opposite Grand Isle de St. 
Regis — mostly settled by American refugees and English. All neces- 
saries may be readily procured there. The Grand Isle and its neigh- 
boring country is beautifully situated and land very rich — no cultiva- 
tion but a few Indians. The Secy, and Asst. Secy., Mr. Fraser, were 
sworn in before a magistrate at Cornwall. The most valuable timber 
has been cut from these islands, some by trespassers, mostly by con- 
tractors to the British Admiralty Board. 

May 25th. Engaged mostly in preparing affidavits for the surveyors. 
The Commissioners without consulting the Agent drafted an affidt 
placing the surveyors exclusively under their control — to which the 
Agent objects on the ground that his duties require that the surveyors 
should receive his instructions that he may be enabled to be prepared 
with the necessary testimony to substantiate his claims — that they are 
the witnesses under his management — that the Commissioners have no 
control over him out of court, but may direct his proceedings as to 
time and place, that the Commissioners are the judges and should not 

1 William A. Bird, of Troy, appointed as "one of the clerks or Assistant Surveyors.'* 
At the St. Regis meeting of the Board, May 23, 181 7, he was made Assistant Surveyor 
with Alexander Stevenson (Journal of July 24, 1822, Mss. National Archives). Re- 
signed Mar. 1, 1 82 1, Mr. Ferguson taking his place (Journal, Ibid., pp. 1 30-1 31). 

2 Treaty Point was later known as Point Peace and the point below where the 
British camp stood was called Point Amity. 


procure testimony, but may require what they think fit thro him. 
Genl. Porter thinks otherwise. He circumscribes the Agent's duties to 
a counsellor of the Board — while the Agent considers himself the 
counsellor of his country. An explanation takes place between Genl. 
Porter & Col. Hawkins as to their respective duties, when this variance 
as above related appears. Col. Hawkins 1 prepares an affidt placing 
the surveyors under the direction of the Commissioners, as well as of 
the Agents, consenting that any directions he may give shall be first 
approved by the Commissioners and prepares a note for the Board 
with affidt annexed. Were visited by several chiefs from St. Regis. 
Stephen Burrows, the notorious counterfeiter, is now a Priest, at Three 
Rivers, of the Catholic Church. His daughter, also of great skill in the 
art, has taken the White Veil of the Order of St. Ursuline, 4th. July. 
26th. The Board met in Genl. Porter's Marquee. Col. Hawkins 
presented his credentials — handed in a note recommending the form 
of an oath for surveyor and assistant as described above. The Board 
desire him to prepare for them an expose of his duties as he conceives 
them, preparatory to their adopting regulations — and do not adopt 
the Agent's form for oath, but confine surveyors' instructions to such 
as are derived from the Board. Mr. Adams, the surveyor, prepared to 
commence operations. The weather unfavorable for astronomical 
observation. Many altitudes observed but not able to get the corre- 
spondents. A question may arise as it relates to the 45 of latitude like 
this: should not the latitude be calculated to the spheroidical figure of 
the earth? The present line of 45 is by the usual astronomical supposi- 
tion of the earth being a sphere. Calculate it as a spheroidical parallel, 
and the line will be drawn 14' 58" North of the present line, adding 
that gain of territory to the United States. The weather rather cold, 
a little snow fell at St. Regis. Snow banks still to be seen about one 
mile south on the shores. The fish common to these waters are sturgeon, 
which are much better than salt water sturgeon. Black bass are good. 
A fish corresponding with our sheepshead is taken but not eaten of 
choice, it has no teeth & is called sheepshead by the English. A small 
lobster about 2 to 3 inches is found corresponding in all things to our 
lobsters is the cray fish. Pike are also taken. Have seen no shell fish — 
mullett & whitefish. Thermometer at noon 74 , at night 10 o'clock 54 , 
which has been the regular variation between day & night since our 

* Colonel Samuel Hawkins had been appointed Agent on April 11, 1816, by James 
Madison (Journal of July 24, 1822, pp. 9-10 for text) but did not present his com- 
mission to the Board until May 26, 181 7. He was therefore acting before formally 
taking office (Porter to Richard Rush, Acting Secretary of State, May 27, 181 7. 
Mss. in National Archives. Journal 10 gives the text of his commission). 


encampment. Pickerel, salmon, salmon-trout, cat fish, yellow perch, 
eels, black bass, muskinonge. 1 

27th. Mr. Ellicott and son arrived at the camp. Two deer seen on 
the island. Thermometer at midnight 32 °. 

28th. Ice in the morning and thermometer at 4 o'clock a. m. at 30 . 
A fine spring cleared on the shore with a temperature of 46°, being four 
degrees cooler than the river and about the same number of degrees 
cooler than the springs in the states. Visited Mr. Markoe the Catholic 
Priest at St. Regis with Col. Ogilvy, a polite, intelligent & amiable 
man — has great sway over the Indians. Col. Ogilvy presents them 
with 50 bushels of potatoes. Mr. Adams runs a base line of 1400 ft. on 
the opposite shore. 

May 29th. The Board sits in the British camp, instructed Mr. 
Adams to proceed, and agreed to receive several reports from Messrs. 
Adams, Ellicott 2 and Thompson 3 . Observed some squaws planting 
seeds which had been previously covered in the earth, and permitted 
to remain 'til germinating — having found their place of deposit they 
carried off only such seeds as had sprouted, to plant, thus securing 
a crop without any waste land. The seeds were corn, cucumbers, peas 
& beans. The Indians of St. Regis cultivate considerable land & much 
of this island. The women join in the labor. But few talk English, but 
many talk French. 

The Indian language, Mr. Markoe tells me, has but 12 letters, the 
most of their sounds being gutteral. The St. Regis Indians are from 
the Mohawk and said by Douglas in his History of America, Pub. 
1755, to be a parcel of Ave Maria idle praying Indians, runaways from 
the Mohawks. The Indians laugh at our wearing of watches. In their 
language they describe watches as "something in the breeches." The 
Indians have no oaths, but in French and English they swear. 

The Kahnuagas (now called Cochnawagas) are of the same origin. 

1 This entry shows Major Delafield's interest in questions of natural history, which 
characterized him throughout his entire life. 

2 The Journal of July 24, 1822, p. 14, records the fact that the Board under Articles 
VI and VII has just informed the Board under Article V that "A. Ellicott, Esq. is 
now at St. Regis with his instruments engaged; also separately from the other astrono- 
mers in taking observations." Andrew Ellicott died at West Point August 29, 1820. His 
brother Joseph Ellicott who was born in Bucks Co., Pa. Nov. I, 1760 died August 19, 
1826. He was for many years in the employ of the Holland Land Company. He was 
called the "founder of Buffalo." 

3 David Thompson, Astronomical Surveyor for the British Section of the Board 
under Articles VI and VII (list in National Archives and Journal of July 24, 1822, 
P- 25). 


30th. 1 Weather fine, thermometer 8 a. m. at 56 . Examined in 
comp'y with Mr. Ellicott and Genl. Porter a mound of which the 
Indians here have no tradition — is about 40 feet in diameter and 8 or 
10 high — had been opened by some travelers about a year ago, who 
took from it arrow piles of stone, stone hatchets &c. No evidence of 
its antiquity to be discovered other than the loss of its history by the 
Indians — found on this island concretions of marine shells and petri- 
factions of the smaller kind, to wit, muscles. Mr. Ellicott asserts that 
the large marine shells are only found about the level of the ocean 
and the smaller ones on mountains &c. According to his theory there 
is not so much water on the globe as there has been. He thinks the 
vegetable and brute creation existed before man (no doubt) — says 
there never has been found a petrifaction of a human being, that one, 
it is said, was found at Gibraltar, (should be Guadaloupe. See Guvier) . 
He is not a naturalist. 

Maple elm & pine prevail in this neighborhood. Observed on the 
island a field of evergreen such as is planted in our gardens for orna- 
ment — and noticed a bird of the hanging or wood pecker kind not 
recollected to have seen before — grey back, black wings, yellow head 
on its top — tail forked, and long talons — bill not long. Drafted, for 
Col. Hawkins 5 satisfaction, an argumentative report of the relative 
duties of Commissioner & Agent, agreeably to the tenor of the treaty 
& his instruction — submitted the same to him. 

31st. Weather cold and cloudy. Dined with Col. Ogilvy and party 
and spent evening. 

June 1st. Spent at St. Regis with Col. Hawkins, suffered in the 
morning from Mr. J. Ellicott burning charcoal in my tent when 
asleep. Weather cold. 

June Qd. Spent at St. Regis, engaged in making up a note for the 
Commissioners on the subject of relative duties, and copies for the 
Dept. of State. Weather cold; ice formed in the two last mornings. 
Mr. Ellicott's apparatus arrived. 

1 On May 29 the Board was in session. It resolved on that day, "That the Board 
will proceed to ascertain the point at which the 45th degree of North latitude, con- 
tinues West from the Connecticut River, strikes the river Iroquois or Cataraguy." 
(Journal of July 24, 1822, p. 12). Ogilvy reported that same day that "Mr. David 
Thompson did take during the last winter and spring a series of observations for ascer- 
taining the said point." (Ibid., p. 12). The Board then directed Mr. David P. Adams, 
American Surveyor, to "proceed alone, with all convenient expedition, to take observa- 
tions for the same purpose; both series to be made use of as the Board may hereafter 
order and direct, and that, during the time that Mr. Adams shall be so occupied, Mr. 
Thompson (the British surveyor) shall proceed with the survey of the river Iroquois or 
Cataraguy, upwards, commencing at, and from the church of St. Regis — ." (Ibid., 
p. 12). 


June 3d. Cross'd over to the camp. Mr. Ellicott preparing his in- 
struments. Has with him a zenith sector with a 6 foot radius, a pendu- 
lum clock and other instruments made by himself & Mr. Rittenhouse. 
A transit instrument made by himself with acromatic glasses, he says, 
is the first made in America. Profr. Ellicott uses for the wires (as 
commonly called) of his telescopes cob or spiders' webs which he 
claims as original & American & far exceeds any hairs or wire ever 
used and promises to show us the preparation. The silk worm spins a 
double thread, which is joined together on passing the plate of the 
worm — and consequently makes a flat thread. The spider does not 
spin less than 3 threads, which are twisted together and make a round 
web — a singular circumstance attending the spider's web is that how- 
ever much twisted, it will not untwist. 

Returned to St. Regis with Col. Hawkins. Board met at Point Peace, 
ordered their Secy, to acquaint the Board sitting at Boston, of their 
progress here, requesting a joint meeting to establish the 45th , being 
a point common to both Commissions. Col. Hawkins presents his state- 
ment of relative duties & remonstrates against the course persued. 

June 4. Col. Ogilvy moves his camp to Grand Isle de St. Regis & 
Cornwall Island. Dine with the gentlemen of Cornwall who celebrate 
the birthday of Geo. 3d.; Col. McLean, Mr. Anderson, Judge Ander- 
son, Mr. McDonald, Wood, French, Mr. Conly &c. principal inhabit- 
ants. Heavy rain. Spent the night with our friends at Cornwall. 

June 5th. Cross'd from Cornwall to the Grand Isle to British Camp, 
and thence walked down the island to its point, and cross'd to the 
Petit Isle. The Grand Isle is a beautiful and rich isle — elm, maple, 
birch and bass wood. The North West end is most rough, and there is 
occasionally a ridge of or rather a flat of sand. Considerably culti- 
vated by Indians. Could not learn that they could grant satisfactory 
titles. An apple orchard was then in full bloom. Strawberry, black- 
berry & gooseberry vines are found. The elm produces the greatest 
quantity of strongest ashes. The maple perhaps as strong, but not so 
great a quantity — and are the best wood for ashes. Weather moderate, 
thermometer about 6o°. Sent dispatches to Secry. of State, by dispatch 
to Salmon River. 1 

June 6th. Still at St. Regis, weather wet. 

7th. At St. Regis, weather cloudy & wet. 

8th. The Indians celebrate this day as their greatest holiday, under 
the management of the Catholic Priest. Attended church where cere- 

1 "The Indians on the British side remain in quiet possession of the lands they are 
on. On the American side the Indians have an idea that, in their treaty with the 
States, they received the Islands. This, I am told, is not the case." Note by Major 


mony was conducted with great decency and solemnity. Two files of 
armed Indians with rifle &c. and each file bearing two English stand- 
ards formed thro the centre of the church dividing male & female. 
They alternately chanted the service with unexpected harmony and 
in very good time. The music was reduced to some scientific scale, 
their leaders using notes. After the ceremony the armed Indians formed 
in the same order without, and after firing a round the Priest with his 
train formed a procession through the village followed by most of the 
inhabitants after the manner of the Catholics. As is the Indian custom 
there were built by the squaws, two arbors & little coverings, fancifully 
decorated with all the ribbons, pictures, mirrors, tinsel and the like 
that could be collected. On the Priest's arriving at these, he entered 
and went thro with some portion of the service in which his followers 
joined with great zeal. The British party had built one and the Ameri- 
cans another. Margaret Gray, the daughter of Col. Gray dec'd, built 
the American. She is a fine, frank, well made & well looking woman 
and of good education, speaking the English and French languages 
with much purity, acquired at Montreal. The holiday is in celebration 
of some of the saints, but none have been able to explain to me which. 
Our calendar gives it as St. Medard's. I presume, however, they never 
dreamed of Medard. The village has been prepared for the occasion, 
by sweeping the lanes which are in green sod, & very regular, and 
planting rows of poplar & hemlock, on either side giving it quite a 
fanciful appearance. Several tell me the celebration is in commemora- 
tion of Romulus, I know not why — but, as connected with the found- 
ing of the place which names their faith. A little incident occurred in 
our ramble today worthy of note. On visiting Margaret's show house, 
we gave her from the party three dollars, induced by her friendly con- 
duct & disposition to Americans; and the fact that the other party 
had on many occasions, indeed all, been noticed in this way by the 
British. The other party did not on this occasion however, meet with 
the like good fortune. The consequence was, they demanded to share 
with Margaret the fruits of the day, who not understanding this law 
of distribution, declined. The matter was refered to the Priest, who 
replied, "Margaret has probably been free with these Gentn. let her 
keep her reward!" Poor Margaret suffers as much mentally for the asper- 
sion of the Priest, as morally, & evinces distress that is highly creditable. 
How the affair will be finally adjusted I cannot surmise; but her 
brother-in-law (Lee) a white man talks of removing his family from 
the village, saying that the Priest disturbs his quiet by such conduct, 
which is bottomed in his enmity to Yankees. He (the Priest) is a young 
man educated at Quebec. The U. S. flag & a few pounds of powder 
presented to the American Chiefs here would so far as I can discover, 


set all things right. They rally under the British flag because they have 
no other — and rejoice with the powder presented to them by the 
British, because no one else gives it to them. I would make the village 
thoroughly American with $50. 

The day very fine and much company from the neighboring places 
— probably 1000 people present. A little frost the two last nights. 

June 9th. Overcast with clouds and some rain, continue at St. 
Regis, drafted letter to the Priest, inclosing documents submitted to 
the Board on the subject of Agency, in question — made up dispatches 
for Priest. Board meets on Cornwall Island. 1 

10th. Heavy and incessant rain, continue at St. Regis. 

June 1 1 th. Weather clear and cool. Mr. Ellicott makes observations. 

June 1 2 th. Clear, crossed to the camp and pitched Col. H's. 
Marquee. Mr. Ellicott cuts a meridian across the island. Mr. Adams 
having surveyed to the W. end of the Grand Isle St. Regis, on the S. 
side is returning on the N. side — returned to St. Regis in the afternoon. 

1 3th. Clear, crossed to the camp and returned to dine. Find Judge 
Atwater 2 & son at the tavern with whom we spend the evening. 

June 14th. Clear. The Indians of the village turn out to hunt deer 
back of the town, having got in their rear they spread from St. Regis 
to the Racket River, with the view of driving them to the St. Law- 
rence: man a canoe and join the hunt, the deer are beset by the dogs 
and driven across the Racket. 

The wild cat or catamount is still found in this and the adjoining 
country. A large prem'm is p'd for taking them. Judge Atwater spends 
the day up the St. Regis River rafting timber that had been cut & 
prepared by trespassers on land under his agency, and collected about 
30,000 ft. It is a common trespass in this country, and the matter is 
often compromised between the parties. The judge however claims not 
only the labor bestowed on the timber, but the expense of rafting, from 
the trespassers. Daniel McCormick owns valuable timber lands on 
this river, and one or more townships in the neighborhood. 

15th. Clear and pleasant. In the St. Regis church till of late has 
been a bell that was brought by the Indians from Deerfield in Mass. 
in 1759 or 60. They made an attack upon that place, burned it to- 
gether with the church, first saving the bell, and bro't home with them 
Mr. Williams, 3 the Priest, who settled among them. Williams, the Chief, 

1 See Journal which gives minutes of this meeting on pp. 14-15. 

2 Judge Russell C. Atwater once an active politician, and follower of Clinton and 
became a farmer. 

3 At Deerfield, Mass., on Feb. 28, 1704 occurred the famous massacre. John Wil- 
liams, the clergyman, and his family were taken to an Indian village in Canada. 


is a descendant of his and there are other of his relatives now living 
in the neighborhood — crossed to the camp dined with Genl. Porter 
in comp'y with Judge Atwater &c. and returned. Frost during the 
night. The muskinonge is a fine fish caught in these waters, also are 
the eels. 

1 6th. Weather cold and windy. Board sits at Genl. Porter's Marquee 
— adopt rules — transmit the Agent a copy. 5th. rule states "that the 
Board will be ready on all proper occasions to receive, hear & consider 
all such evidences, claims, statements, suggestions and other com- 
munications, connected with the execution of its duties, as the Agents 
appointed on behalf of the respective governments may deem proper." 1 
This rule has the semblance of concurring with Col. Hawkins' views 
of the Agency, but is rendered almost negative by the expression of 
"all proper occasions." Mr. Ellicott dines with us at St. Regis. Our 
eels were cooked with the skins on. Mr. Ellicott asserts that eels and 
catfish should always be cooked in their skins — thus scald the fish and 
with a woolen cloth wiping them hard, you prepare them in the best 
manner for cooking. Frost during the night. 

June 17th. Weather clear & pleasant. Went to the mills about 
two miles up the St. Regis River, a handsome site for mills said to 
belong to Mr. Hogan 2 of New York. The land is good but rather low. 
Mr. Oliver of Baltimore has the greatest interest in the above mill site. 

June 1 8th. Warm and sultry. Mr. Simpson brings in a fine deer, 
weighs before cleaning 190. Are plenty in the neighborhood — take to 
the islands. Mr. Ellicott proceeds in his observations, with his zenith 
sector and is upon the 2d half of the circle, to detect errors &c. Syrius, 
Capella and Lyra are the best stars for observation in latitudes from 
49°N. to 3 1 ° and he prefers the day time, because of the nicer accuracy 
with which he can examine his instruments, than by any other light. 

June 19th. Clear and pleasant. The Chiefs of the village assemble 
at our lodgings to execute a lease of a store lot to Judge Atwater for 
10 dlls. yearly rent, the delivery of which I witness. They, after this form 
was over, christened us all with Indian names, Judge Atwater they 
called Ska ro ya te (Beyond the Sky) , Col. Hawkins, Ga ron gon tia 
(the Flying Moon), myself, Ga ra give ne gen (the Rising Sun), R. C. 
Atwater, Ga ra giv a na (the Full Moon), Judge Richards, Ze ra go 

He and others were in time released but his daughter, Eunice, a child of eight years, 
was kept by the Indians, married one of them and left descendants. 

1 Journal of July 24, 1822, p. 15 for fuller details. 

2 William Hogan, born in New York City in 1792, graduated Columbia College 
in 181 1, became a lawyer, bought land in Black River County, N. Y., became a 
county judge. The town of Hogansfort is named after him. 


rus (the Split or Half Moon). The Chiefs of the St. Regis tribe are 
Loran Tarbell Kingfisher, White Mitchell, Jacob Sa wa tis ga no wa 
ta se. Peter is their treasurer or secretary. 

June 20th. Crossed to the camp, Mr. Adams engaged at home 
running base line and measuring angles. Mr. Ellicott loses his observa- 
tion on acct. of the clouds — his zenith sector takes in five degrees — 
he observes 3 stars by day and 3 by night — these stars are but about 
2 minutes in the field of his glass, so that an accurate calendation is 
required to set his instrument. He observes that he never was so often 
interrupted by the weather in the course of his observing as at this 
spot. The weather this day, warm and appearance of thunder showers. 
Col. H. and Mr. Simpson go out over night to hunt deer & return in 
the morning with a buck shot at 36 rods between the fore shoulders, 
who runs 3 miles, takes to the river and is caught with difficulty by a 
dog and canoe. 

2 1 st. Spend the day at the camp, clear and pleasant weather but 
lowering clouds for short intervals prevent observations — study as- 
tronomy — return in the evening. Indians complain of our trespasses 
in cutting the meridian line across the island, but are satisfied with 
the compensation of a little bread and pork. Bugs, to wit wood ticks 
and also musquitoes, exceedingly annoying on the island. 

Variation of the needle 5 degrees and 20 min: West. 

22nd. Cross to the camp and remain. Weather pleasant. 

June 23rd. Weather pleasant, in the afternoon heavy showers. Ice, 
the remains of a large bank on the shore was to be seen this day. 

24th. Commence our establishment in the Marquee with our own 
table &c. Weather clear and cool. Read Heriot's Travels thro the 
Canadas and began with the study of the French language. Bad 
weather for observations, being most of the day cloudy. Mr. Adams 
reaches his meridian line of the N. side of this isle, having surveyed 
around the Grand Isle of St. Regis. 

June 25th. Many clouds in the heavens but no rain — cool morning 
and warm afternoon. Strawberries begin to ripen. Mr. Ellicott com- 
putes his observation — we find the U. S. must lose territory. Mr. 
Holland 1 settled the boundary before — he was as near right as could 
be expected with the means he had. Mr. E. never had occasion to alter 
Mr. Holland's work altho often employed on the same points after 
him. Mr. E. insists upon the necessity of a zenith sector for nice ob- 

1 Samuel Holland, born in Canada and died there in 1801. He became Surveyor 
General of the Colonies north of Virginia, and later Surveyor General of Lower 
Canada. As such he had run the boundary line in this neighborhood some years 
before this date. 


servation — and says since 1730 no other instrument has been used 
where the greatest accuracy was required. The mouth of the Racket 
River becomes interesting from the fact that the line cutting that point 
makes it eligible for a settlement and port of entry. 

June 26th. Rain commences in the morning and continues all day 
and night, wind at S. W. Read Ellicott's Journal and French exercise. 
The party dines with us on a chowder made of a large cat fish or 
bullpout. This fish is much esteemed by persons here and not eat in 
some parts of the U. S. The salmon begin to come up the river; pickerel, 
black bass and eels are the most common and plenty. The wild rose 
is now blooming, the plant is seldom more than a foot or 18 inches 
high, bears much bloom and is fragrant, very plenty on the island. 

June 27th. Weather continues cloudy & wet, wind at S. W., no 
observations taken 'til midnight, when Mr. Ellicott completes his cir- 
cuit or course of observations with his sector — cold and damp. 

June 28th. Clear and pleasant, Mr. Adams and party cross the 
river to cut a line due E. and W. for the 45th parrallel agreable to Mr. 
Ellicott's observations — extend their meridian line from the island to 
the main til it reaches the 45th and clear away the trees to mark the 
line. It is a singular fact that none of us had discovered the old line 
run by Mr. Holland til brought to it in measuring off the meridian to 
reach the new one, as fixed by Mr. Ellicott. It is found about. . . . 
North of Mr E.'s line and designated by cut and blazed trees. The 
crosses erected thro the village do not mark the line as is commonly 
said. The present as well as the old line are South of the crosses. Great 
accuracy belongs to all of Mr. Holland's work, and had he been pos- 
sessed of the like instruments as Mr. Ellicott's it is probable no change 
would have taken place. Mr. Holland used for these purposes a quad- 
rant of superior excellence of 1 2 inch radius. Mr. Ellicott uses a zenith 
sector of 6 foot radius — Find on the shores of the island and also by the 
village handsome specimens of marine concretions of small shells. By 
our camp on the shore lies a rock 5 feet in length, composed throughout 
of shells and cement. The bloodroot or turmerick is to be found in 
abundance by the line near the village among the pines. Mr. Ellicott 
prides himself upon his instruments, which he calls American, and is 
pleased that this line has been run without foreign aid of scientific 
men or instruments. Col. Hawkins goes to Ogdensburgh. Terebra- 
tulae not in place. 

June 29th. High winds from S. & S.W. & E. Cloudy — tempera- 
ture moderate. Theomr. 72 — all hands employed in opening the lane. 
At night high winds with rain. 

June 30th. High winds and cloudy, all hands employed as yesterday 
but myself, remain at home study French &c. At night high winds and 


heavy rain. Mr. Ellicott's line takes in but two houses in the village, 
which are South of it — some difficulty in getting rid of 3 squaws who 
take shelter in our Marquee late at night — the imprudent mischief of 
one carries her to the Genl.'s quarters, where she finds Mr. Ellicott 
Senr. asleep &c.l Drink much rum and steal if not watched. 

July 1. High wind and rain, wind W. S.W. — cool. Mr. Ellicott & 
party at work on the line — lay open a way of about ten feet width from 
St. Regis River to the bay formed by the point of land opposite the 
S. W. end of St. Regis Island which marks the line — we suppose it 
agrees very nearly if not exactly with Mr. Holland's line, the track of 
which is now rendered rather uncertain by the contradictory state- 
ments of the Indians and the variety of marks thro the woods, which 
confuse the explorer. 

July 2d. The Genl. & party visit the British camp on Bavahart's 
Island. 1 The Board sit. The Genl. receives a copy of an order issued by 
Genl. Brown 2 to the troops to offer all possible assistance to the Com- 
missioners in the prosecution of their duties. Mr. Ellicott examines the 
St. Regis River as high up as the mills in search of plants and minerals, 
find nothing worthy of note. Carbonates of lime prevail. The Seneca 
or sweet scented grass is luxuriant in this neighborhood. Mr. Adams 
remains at home to compute his observations, and a dose of medicine 
which I take, to guard against my billious disposition, confines me to 
the camp in the morning. In the evening Chief Justice Thompson, 3 
Atty. Genl. Van Beuren, 4 Mr. Contine & Judge Atwater arrive from 
Ogdensburgh, where the court had been sitting. Col. Hawkins returns 
shortly after them, with a barge and two hands — high wind from the 
S. W. and clear. 

July 3d. Clear and very warm. Wind W., light. The Chief Justice 
& party leave us, the first night he ever lodged in a camp — they pro- 
ceed to Montreal as the most convenient route to their homes. Mr. Elli- 
cott takes down his zenith sector & makes preparations to leave us. 

1 Barnhart's Island. 

* Gen. Jacob Brown, born Bucks Co., Pa. May 9, 1775, Major General command- 
ing the Northern Division of the American forces. His order was dated June 19, 181 7 
and appears in the Journal (National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, 
Envelope III, Folder 3). 

3 Smith Thompson, Chief Justice of New York, 1814-1818. In 181 8 President 
Monroe made him Secretary of the Navy and in 1823 ne was ma de an Associate 
Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States to succeed Judge Brockholst 

4 "Atty. Gen. Van Buren" Martin Van Buren, later President. In 181 5 he had been 
appointed Attorney General of New York: but in 1816 he had been reelected to the 
State Senate. Delafield evidently uses Van Buren's courtesy tide, as he was no longer 
"Atty. Gen." 


July 4th. Clear and warm. Celebrate this anniversary in our camp. 
The British party having declined our invitation, we are alone with the 
exception of Judge Atwater. 

July 5th. Clear and warm. Mr. Adams traverses the neighboring 
islands and completes his chart of this section — celebrate the anniver- 
sary of the Battle of Chippewa with same party as of yesterday. 

July 6th. Clear in the morning — stormy afternoon, wind S. W. At 
night heavy showers, with vivid & incessant lightning. 

July 7th. Genl. Porter with all the party, except that attached to 
the Agency, strike their tents and proceed up the river intending to 
encamp at the foot of the Long Sault. Stormy morning, wind S. W. — 
cloudy throughout the day with some rain. Col. Hawkins on his return 
from the Long Sault finds our stores at Cornwall. 

July 8th. Stormy morning, high winds from the N. E. but little 
rain. In the afternoon a heavy shower arises from the W. N. W. & 
prevails over the easterly storm; change of wind but rain continues 
thro the night. Mr. Ellicott & Judge Atwater spend the afternoon & 
dine with us, being detained on their passage to Montreal by the winds. 
Judge Atwater relates some curious anecdotes of the notorious Ethan 
Allen in relation to his marriage with his second wife. 1 She was a 
woman of many accomplishments & a fine person; had been the mis- 
tress of a British officer & was known to the Judge as well as to the Genl. 
(Allen) before his marriage. She was faithful to the satisfaction of 

Allen and is now the wife of a Mr at Burlington, Vermont. 

Allen's speculation in fire arms would have made him a Nabob in 
wealth had it have been effected. He was the owner at one time of a 
plot of 20 miles on Lake Champlain including all Burlington and the 
neighboring country. Judge Atwater is distinguished as a Clintonian, 
was once an active politician but has renounced those concerns for 
his farms &c. Mr. Ellicott a man of astron'l science, liberal in his 
politics & religion, was by family a Quaker, a Pennsylvanian, had 
spent his life in public employ — was, as he says, the associate of Ritten- 
house, the topographer of Washington — the companion of Hamilton, 
Madison, Burr &c. &c. he says that all the computations required by 
Hamilton in his system of finance were made by him — is at present the 

1 She was Fanny, the daughter of Captain Montresor, a British officer. Captain 
Montresor died while she was a child and her mother then married Crean Brush, . . . 
a prosperous Vermont farmer. She had a rather better education and training than 
customary at the time in the locality. A quaint account of her marriage is given in 
The Life of Ethan Allen, by John Pell. Ethan Allen whom she married February 9, 
1784 was her second husband. Her first husband, a British officer named Buchanan 
had died leaving her a widow at twenty-four, with one child. 


Profr. of Mat. & Philos'y at West Point. In religion a sceptic — considers 
Utilitarianism the most reasonable but it is doubtful whether his faith 
is so enlarged as those of that sect. Benedict Arnold, the son of the 
traitor by that name, lives on this river — continues stormy during 
the night. Mr. Ellicott is described by Mr. A. as a lover of sleep and 
rememberancer of anno dominis ! Not inappropriate. 

July gth. Clear and pleasant — accompanied Mr. Ellicott and Judge 
Atwater to Calquhoun's at Charlottenbergh where they embarked 
for Montreal. Observed in Calquhoun's garden the astonishing rapidity 
of vegetation in this climate. Six weeks ago there was but little other 
appearance of a garden than its enclosure — a luxuriant growth now 
shows itself, in about the state of our gardens in middle of June. The 
Canada thistle is very troublesome to them. Mr. Ellicott, before taking 
leave, enjoined upon Col. H. the propriety of maintaining the parallel 
as run by him, in opposition to everything that might be done or said 
by other astronomers who did not take the fixed stars for their observa- 
tion. The gentlemen in the British camp talk of ascertaining latitude 
by the sun. This is well enough for common purposes; but to put this 
method in competition with the other for accuracy he conceives an 
evidence of ignorance. He explains to us the variation of the sun as 
being .... while that of the fixed stars is comparatively nothing. 
Mr. Thompson's line it is said strikes the Racket (Raquette) River. 
Mr. Adams will be a trifle North of Mr. Ellicott's. Should the line have 
gone y± of a mile South it would not have struck the river til you pass 
Massena Point, on acct. of the West course that the main takes. 

July ioth. Clear and warm. Col. H. & myself with Mr. Anderson 
(surveyor) & John Gray, interpreter, explore the South W. point of 
the Racket River and trace the line of Indian reservation — which we 
find about 2 1/£ miles back or up the river, and strikes the St. Lawrence 
about half a mile East of the S. W. end of Cornwall Island near a small 
islet — leaving on the point about 500 acres of land partly cleared and 
French settlers upon it. This point is eligibly situated for a settlement. 
The water bold on the Racket River side as also on the St. Lawrence, 
with small bays for harbors, and banks about 9 feet high and level. 
The interior is well settled, and an outlet here would prove a conven- 
ience. The situation is good for a point of entry, being the first harbor 
made on entering the States. 

July 1 ith. Cloudy with little rain, wind variable. Tempe. moderate. 
Study botany and prepare Hortus Siccus. Col. Hawkins goes to Malone. 

July 1 2th. Heavy showers of rain in the morning from the S. W., 
at noon warm with heavy clouds in the W., afternoon clear and pleas- 
ant, wind S. W. Study French. Matthew, our waiter, & myself alone 
on the island — depend upon the Indians who come to us in canoes for 


the means of egress &c. Have no occasion, however, to leave it, being 
well supplied with game beside our salt provisions &c. 

July 13th. Cool in the morning, and in the evening a seat by the 
fireplace is most comfortable. Clear, wind S. W. Indians with children 
frequent our camp for provisions, are in great want on account of the 
failure of their crops the last year — depend upon fish and what little 
game they bring in for support. There are some good looking fields 
of grain on this island, which are cultivated almost exclusively by the 
women. Corn, wheat, peas and potatoes & beans chiefly. He who first 
cultivated a plot of ground becomes the possessor, and by this use gains 
a right to sell his privilege. The Chief Loran, an industrious sober & 
prudent old man, is the greatest farmer and has the most cleared land 
by purchase of privilege in part. Before the Priest settled among them 
they had a custom in marriage somewhat descriptive of their habits; 
the man presents his bride with a deer skin, the squaw — her bride- 
groom with an Indian corn. The first as his pledge to support their 
family by hunting: the second as her pledge of industry at home in 
cultivating the fields. Col. Hawkins returns from Malone. 

July 14th. Clear and pleasant, wind S. W. Squaws bring us a fine 
mess of raspberries for the first this season. 

July 15th. Sultry, wind West. In the afternoon was visited by a 
party of ladies and gentlemen from French Mills and further up the 
Salmon River. Dr. Mann, 1 Judge Spencer, 2 Mr. Hitchcock, 3 Mr. 
Wallace & wives — from Mr. Mann I rec'd much information about 
the country in his neighborhood — in relation to the peculiar diseases of 
the country, he says that since his settling here, which was 12 years 
ago, there has been an entire change, that at that time epidemics 
were confined to the summer season, that now they have no epidemic 
but in the depth of winter and that is a high typhoid or spotted fever 
extremely putrefactive — healthy generally. Speaking of the rapidity of 
the vegetation he tells me that in six weeks after the snow left his grass 
meadow he cut four ton of hay pr. acre. The quantity of hay is remark- 
able, but the time of its growth a more material fact. The St. Regis 
Tribe, he says, have greatly diminished since he came to this country & 
he thinks certainly one half of the males were cut off during the late 

1 Probably Dr. James Mann, born in Massachusetts in 1 759, for many years an army 
surgeon and after the War of 181 2 in charge of the medical department on the north- 
west frontier. 

2 Probably Judge James Bradley Spencer, born Salisbury, Connecticut, settled in 
Franklin County, New York, was an officer in the War of 181 2, became county judge 
and surrogate and later a member of Congress. 

3 Probably the well known Rev. Edward Hitchcock, born May 24, 1 793. His versa- 
tile and effective life is summarized in Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography. 



war on the Niagara frontier, they were in the ranks of the enemy 
mostly. These Indians cannot give much information about their 
history. Col. Gray's squaw and the squaw of Old Loran, the Chief, 
are best informed but are not very communicative. You must be in 
great favor to obtain any historical facts from them. The men are 
ignorant or mute. It appears that this neighborhood was the battle 
ground of the desperate wars that raged between the Oneidas and 
St. Francis Tribe. The Oneidas were united with most of the tribes 
lying South of the St. Lawrence in the now State of New York, in- 
cluding the St. Regis Tribe who came from the Mohawk & joined in 
these wars. The St. Francis were a numerous tribe inhabiting the coun- 
try along the lake of that name — and one of the Canada Nations — 
both parties were extremely reduced in these wars & their strength 
almost annihilated. An Oneida Chief called Onahata undertook the 
dangerous expedition of going among his enemies as a peace maker. 
He was selected as the most powerful warrior of the tribe. On his ap- 
proach he was treated as an enemy. By his prowess, however, he alone 
beat off his assailants & commanded their attention to his errand. 
His talk was heard and a treaty ensued. The small remnant of those 
who came from a part of the Mohawks, established themselves under 
Col. Louis as their Chief at St. Regis; the rest of the warriors returned 
to their old hunts and the Oneidas continue to this day in possession 
of their lands in the State of New York and are the last tribe remaining 
in that state. This is the origin of the St. Regis Tribe who appear to 
be fast diminishing. The intermarriage with whites, the Yankee settlers, 
and the Catholic Priests, have assimilated them in many respects to 
the whites. Their attachment however, to savage life, seems a native 
passion that is not to be controPd; so that their present situation is 
rendered disagreeable to them by the many checks and coercions that 
restrain them; and of consquence they must rove from their homes, 
or gradually waste away by the effects of an uncongenial life. 

July 1 6th. Clear and pleasant, wind S. W. The Indians use the 
plaintain leaf, the oak leaf and inner bark, and the inner bark of the 
pine tree, as antiseptics; as also the beach tree leaf &c. The blood root 
they use for their red dye. Crane bill for sore mouth, shin plaister for 
sores &c. &c. &c. 

17th. Clear and pleasant, wind strong from S. W., warm thro the 
day — in the afternoon went up the St. Regis River as far as the mills — 
took a few bass with a trowling line. The salmon are taken in plenty at 
the dam about this season of the year. 

July 1 8th. Clear, and wind fresh from S. W., extremely warm. 

July 19th. Clear and strong wind from S. W. Went to Gen'l. Porter's 
camp opposite Barnhart's Island on Point Ellicott, a very pretty spot. 


This point is considered in the Long Sault. The waters are extremely 
rapid, but as yet I have seen no passes or rapids that appear to me to 
have a greater velocity than the tides of Hell Gate when half spent. 
Their abrupt descent over rocks is in most of the rapids their most 
grand and commanding feature. Such, however, have an improved 
navigation; so that I do not conceive the risk of transporting goods 
down this river equal to that of the Sound trade where the rapids of 
Hell Gate must be passed. This observation, however, is rather pre- 
mature as I have not yet ascended the greatest rapids in the river to 
its source. Dined with the Genl. and returned in the afternoon, stop- 
ping at Cornwall on my way. Learned at the camp that the Commis- 
sioners had held a meeting pro forma, having nothing to do as yet of 
moment, and that Col. Ogilvy had ascended the river about 5 miles 
higher up than Point Ellicott. 

July 20th. Clear & pleasant, wind S. W. Heavy clouds during the 
afternoon in the West. The Priest of St. Regis goes to hold a council 
with the Chiefs & British Indian Agent at Cornwall. Old Loran the 
Chief, with some of the younger men, accompany him. Peter and 
Jacob would not go. They are of the Yankee interest. Prepare to strike 
tents by daybreak in the morning. About 10 o'clock in the evening saw 
a most splendid Aurora Borealis or Northern Light, which quite 
illuminated the Northern hemisphere — in the course of 15 minutes it 
reached the zenith by flashes of light & then gradually disappeared. 

July 2 1 st. The day clear and pleasant, a little wind from the S. W. 
Our baggage boat arrived about sunrise. At seven o'clock it set off, 
with all our camp equipage and baggage, leaving Petite Isle de St. 
Regis to the sole possession of the few neighboring squaws that cultivate 
it. We ascended the river on the South side, passing first Crab Island, 
but a dot of land lying off the head of Petite Isle and dividing the 
waters which pass that island on either side. Grand Isle de St. Regis is 

next and extends an irregular shape about 5 miles and contains 

acres of land. A little stream called Grass River, sometimes Black 
River, empties into the St. Lawrence at the head of this island, on the 
N. York shore, and makes the fourth river, to wit the Salmon, St. 
Regis, Racket and Black River, that falls into the St. Lawrence in the 
distance of 15 miles, affording fine mill seats, and abounding in fish — 
at the head of Grand Isle de St. Regis, commonly called Cornwall 
Island, Massena Point, a prominent and bold point, extends itself 
toward the island, contracting the channel so much, as to force the 
great body of water that passes down with astonishing rapidity — it 
also enters the British side thro a narrow pass but it is said the greatest 
body of water passes on that side. The British side is used as the chan- 
nel, for boats both ascending & descending — then ascending about 



2 miles we reached Barnhart's Island & opposite on the main is Point 
Ellicott, which may be considered the foot of the great rapid, the Long 
Sault. We dined with Genl. Porter, and about i o'clock set out on our 
attempt to ascend the Long Sault on the American side. Col. Hawkins, 
myself and Capt. Polly, a brave partizan who had suffered many 
wounds and hard trials in our late contest and who is now incapacitated 
by his wounds for labor and appears to be living among his friends, 
with our three boatmen in our barge led the way. Capt. Polly was well 
acquainted with the pass, and we labored on with unremitted exer- 
tions til the close of day, when our baggage boat, being in the rear, we 
came to; and concluded to pitch our tents in the woods for the night, 
which was soon done, by placing our sails over a few crotch poles, 
covering the under ground with hemlock twigs, and building a large 
fire in front. The spot where we landed was sufficiently wild to initiate 
the white man in the savage life. Running our boat into the eddy, we 
entered under the thick branches of hemlock, pine and shubbery, into 
a little basin of land having on either side but the water side a very 
high hill, and so deep that in the day time I presume it is dark, as the 
trees that covered us, formed an entire canopy. The roar of the rush- 
ing torrents added to the grandure of the scene — Being without pro- 
visions I set off with Capt. Polly to learn the fate of the batteaux. 
After descending the river thro the woods we came to the fire of her 
Indian crew who we found had come to for the night, our waiter who 
was with them not being able to induce them to pass the next point, 
because the sun had set, & as they said "the sun go to sleep, sleep 
me!!" — and true enough, we found them, after wading thro the 
rapids, as they had done, flat on their backs, prepared to sleep, with- 
out other covering than the wet clothes they wore, and perfectly con- 
tent, calling the high grass on which they had stretched themselves 
good bed ! Supplying myself with some bread and cheese and a bottle 
of spirits I returned to our fire, and found the Col. prepared for a 
comfortable night's rest in our little valley or cave. Before reaching 
this spot which is about 7 miles from Point Ellicott, we had passed 
Barnhart's Island, the end of which is immediately opposite that 
point, and is about 3 miles in length. It is good land, considerably 
cleared. The greatest body of water, by a very large proportion, flows 
on the American side, which is the channel for boats descending — 
they ascend on the other where the water is shallow and not so rapid, 

it contains about acres and has a few families upon it. The Long 

Sault Island is next and close to Barnhart's. The greatest body of water 
passes on the British side of this island which is the usual channel for 
boats ascending, not because the rapids are less difficult but because 
there are towing paths for the worst places. The ascent of this rapid is 


truly interesting. The wonderful velocity of the water, the equally 
wonderful variety of scenery added to the novelty of the tour, and 
the incidents that must necessarily occur on such an expedition keeps 
the mind constantly on the alert, and busy with the magnificence or the 
danger of one's situation. We met with no accidents other than the 
breaking of our tow lines in places most favorable for us. Should such 
an accident occur, in the worst of the rapids, there must be inevitable 
loss. Our little barge did, on passing a point, take a course for the 
river, and being suddenly bro't up by the tow line was for a second or 
two bows under, but her stern coming into the same current saved us 
from a ducking. On the American shore between the Long Sault and 
Barnhart's Island, which are not more than ^ of a mile apart, there 
is a remarkable sturgeon fishery. The fish are thrown by the rapid 
tide and troubled waters in the very narrow eddy of the shore, where 
the fisherman with a long pole and hook takes them with ease. We saw 
several little basins, or enclosures, of these fish on the shores, that had 
been taken in this way. They are said to be much better than the N. 
River sturgeon. Between Barnhart's Island & Canada shore lies 
Shiek's Island; a small stream divides it from the maine, which is the 
channel for ascending & is called Mill Rush. There are also some 
inconsiderable islands between the heads of Barnhart's and Shiek's 
Island and the Long Sault. 

July 22nd. At day break our batteaux reached the spot where we had 
lodged, and having breakfasted on pork which we cook'd on the ends 
of sticks in the coals, we again set out to ascend the river. It com- 
mences raining violently and continues til our arrival at Baxter's 
Island. There is in this distance several long eddies that render the 
passage comparatively easy, but we met with serious obstacles from 
fallen trees which had been undermined by the current & lay out in 
the river. These we had to remove, as it was impossible to get around 
them. To the strength and resolution of an Indian guide, Flat Nose 
Peter in the batteaux, we perhaps were indebted for our success in 
overcoming these difficulties. Near the head of the island there are 
some cultivated lands on the N. York side. We stop'd at Mr. Perkins' 
who appears to be a good farmer. Dr. Goss is next above him. The 
Long Sault Island is esteemed as one of the most valuable islands in 
this river; it is about five miles in length and well timbered. It is sup- 
posed that $i of the river flows on the British side. Osnabruck in Can- 
ada and Massena in N. York lay opposite this island. What are more 
particularly called the Long Sault Rapids are on the Canada side, 
and exceed one mile in length. The batteaux are drawn up by ropes 
and horses and sometimes by the crews. When a number collect and 
assist one another, they are called brigades — The Canada shore at 


the rapids is of rock and nearly ioo feet perpendicular height. On the 
American side, which we ascended, the river is for a fair proportion 
not to exceed y^ of a mile wide, exceedingly irregular in its course, 
often turning at right angles, so that you frequently cannot see ahead 
I mile. The head of this Long Sault Island is cut off by a little stream 
about 30 yds. wide, leaving a smaller island. There is a boat passage 
at this end of the island, as also at the end of Baxter's Island im- 
mediately opposite; these are very square, instead of pointed and ex- 
ceed 1 mile in width and have the appearance of having been at some 
time joined. At the head of the Long Sault Island on the Canada side 
the current is not rapid and the river majestic, about one mile wide. 
Osnabruck lies at this point. Between Long Sault and Baxter's Island 
the current is swift, setting from the American to the British shore and 
thence down the great rapids. The pass between these islands is called 
Chenille ficarte. Boats sometimes pass down on the British side with 
safety but it is seldom attempted & never when it can be avoided. 
The British sent our men & officers when prisoners down this Chenille 
£carte. About noon we arrived at Baxter's Island and landed on the 
South side about half a mile from its lower end on a farm of Mr. 
Wilson's who kindly offers us the choice of any of his cleared land for 
our encampment, and we pitch upon a handsome spot near his house. 
The rain continuing very hard, we store our baggage under his shed 
and discharge the batteaux and our faithful and merry Indian crew 
who returned in full chaunt to their tribe at St. Regis. In the evening 
we pitched the wall tent for the men and our stores & the roof of the 
Marquee. The Col. & myself lodged for the night with our neighbor 
Wilson, who, after the custom of the country, gave us a bed in the same 
room with himself and wife and the rest of the household, his son and 
wife & two or three unmarried sons all sleeping in the same room. 

23rd. W'eather clear and pleasant, wind as usual S. W. Engaged in 
pitching Marquee, clearing ground and preparing camp generally. 
The evening cool. 

July 24th. Clear and pleasant, wind S. W. In the afternoon go 
to Osnabruck passing thro the little channel that cuts off a narrow 
strip of land from the head of the Long Sault. It has but sufficient 
water to float a batteaux and is about 100 ft. wide; it widens as you 
approach the British side & the water is more stagnant than at its 
entrance, where it is rather rapid. Osnabruck is a small settlement on 
the bank of the river containing perhaps 50 or 60 houses stretching 
along the river for about lyi miles. The settlers are mostly Americans 
who left us during the Revolutionary War, whom we stiled refugees. 
Indeed the most of this shore is settled by that description of persons. 
They were the men who served in the 3 regiments raised in the then 


colonies commanded by Fraser. There is at Osnabruck a good store 
of dry goods &c, and the land appears to be well cultivated and the 
people well off. The proprietors of this store I have since met at 
Ogdensburgh, flying from their creditors. 

July 25th. Clear and pleasant, wind as usual when clear, S. W. 
In the afternoon crossed to the N. York shore and examined its vege- 
table productions &c. The town of Louisville lies opposite to us and 
Massena Township lies about one mile East, the course of this island 
being nearly North and South. There are but few inhabitants in this 
neighborhood. The Col. and myself visited the log house of a Mr. 
Wilson who was the first settler in the township and came here about 
16 years ago. His daughter, a very pretty and clever girl, told me she 
was the first girl born in the township and the third child! That is, 
there were two boys before her! She was 15 years old, had the charge 
of a family of 10 children and was as much the woman in her appear- 
ance as in her conduct. In the evening went a deer hunting in a canoe 
with a light after the Indian manner — but were unsuccessful, the even- 
ing being too cool. 

July 26th. Weather clear and pleasant, wind S. W. Engaged mostly 
in botanical research. Our postrider arrives punctually with letters and 

27th July. Sunday. Weather clear and pleasant. Wind very light 
from S. S. W. Col. Hawkins and myself set out about 9 o'clock for 
Hamilton to dine with Judge Richards. We crossed at the head of 
Baxter's Island which was formerly called Le Grand Remo, meaning, 
according to the Canadian translation, a Great Eddy, to the Canada 
side, thence passing by Emprie's Island and some five or six others 
(hereafter described), we reached Ogden's Island 1 and crossed to the 
N. York side to Hamilton. This village is just recovering from the dis- 
asters of the war which greatly impeded its improvement. It is about 
13 years since first settled and is considered as improving. The dis- 
tance from our camp at the head of the Long Sault is computed to 
be 15 miles. On the Canada side the country on the river is hand- 
somely cleared and settled. A very good road runs along the river thro 
its entire course, and its borders are well settled. On our side the land 
on the river is fast clearing but the bulk of population lies some miles 
back. The land appears to be good & easy of cultivation throughout. 

1 This island was named after Judge David A. Ogden, son of Abraham Ogden and 
older brother of Thomas Ludlow Ogden. He was born in 1770, and lived in Morris- 
town and Newark, New Jersey. Removed to Hamilton; Judge Court of Common Pleas 
1811 to 1815 and 1825 to 1829. Member of Congress 1817 to 1821. Died in 1829 
(Ogden Family in America: VV. O. Wheeler, 1907). 


The town of Williamsburgh lies opposite to Hamilton on the Canada 
side. We traversed over the battle ground of Chrystler's Fields. All 
appearance of devastation is gone, (houses, fences & farms are new 
vamped up & bear evidence of a remuneration ample to compensate 
all the loss sustained). The military eye at once fixes upon the skirt 
of the neighboring wood, nearly parallel with the shore & the deep 
but regular ravines that intersect the plain, and rests upon the spot 
where the struggle raged. An unfortunate train of circumstances 
rendered this affair an undecided contest. The most candid declare 
it to have been a drawn battle. Observed along the shores of the 
islands in the eddy water small heaps of stones regularly collected and 
piled up pyramidically . These heaps are said to be the places of deposit 
for the spawn of the bass. We saw these fish about the heaps. When 
there they will not bite at the usual bait and remove from the stones 
any little weight that you may drop upon them. 

We returned from Hamilton at midnight and were about 2>£ hours 
reaching our camp. The current is swift but even, there are no very 
bad points to pass on either shore. Bluff Point, about midway between 
this island and Hamilton, is very prominent and the land high. It 
narrows the river to less than half a mile and commands the neigh- 
boring country on the Canada side. It appears to be admirably well 
calculated for a fortified post, the facility with which it may be sup- 
plied, the form of the country around it, its command of the river 
and of the opposite shore, which is rendered complete by the fact that 
the country is there reduced to a narrow strip by a ... . morass 
about i^or 2 miles back. All seem to indicate the propriety if not 
necessity of occupying this point when an enemy lies opposite. During 
the war the British threw up a small work on the corresponding point, 
on their side, which was easily razed by a party under Gen'l. Brown, 
when descending under Wilkinson. 

July 28th. Clear and pleasant, wind S. W. Mr. Baxter and his son 
who has an Indian lease of this island, and Mr. Wilson & son, his 
tenants, called upon us. They are extremely anxious about the fate of 
this island. They are all firm & patriotic Americans, but inasmuch as 
this island before the war was considered as belonging to West Canada, 
they were treated as British subjects. And, being unwilling to bear 
arms against their countrymen, they were obliged to fly. Mr. Baxter 
served for a few months as a British serg't. He left them, however, as 
also his island. Mr. Wilson sent his son to the States & remained him- 
self to take care of his little farm. He was basely decoyed into acts of 
charity by the British who construed them to be treasonable, arrested 
him, confined him in jail for 6 months in the most cruel manner, from 
which he finally was obliged to escape by flight. They returned to the 


island since the war & took possession of their farms. The Canadians 
are extremely incensed at them and Mr. Baxter has even been ar- 
rested & confined in jails since the war. He escaped, however, by 
stratagem and now is permitted to remain quietly in the possession of 
his island. D. A. Ogden, 1 however, claims title to this island by pur- 
chase of the McComb right. 2 The McComb right or purchase was 10 
townships, ending as is here said. Louisville lies opposite this island & 
Massena township commences opposite the head of the Long Sault. 
The St. Regis Indians claim title & give leases. The Chiefs having 
divided, however, part among the British & part among the Americans, 
throws their concerns into confusion and, as neither can agree, the 
rent is neither demanded by or paid to either. In the afternoon we 
cross and visit Genl. Porter at his camp on Mr. Perkins' farm, about 2 
miles below us. Mr. Adams remains some distance down the Long 
Sault surveying, a duty both tedious and laborious in that rapid water. 

July 29th. Wind S. W., cloudy, some rain at night. 

30th. Cloudy during the day, wind North, very warm. 

31st. July. Genl. Porter, Col. Hawkins, Col. Ogilvy, Mr. Sewell and 

1 Judge D. A. Ogden and General Porter were under suspicion of planning to pur- 
chase certain islands which the boundary line was to throw on to the American side. 
Col. Hawkins, the American Agent, had carelessly interpreted a chance remark of 
Major Delafield as giving countenance to this charge, who in reply gave the follow- 
ing statement to a Committee of Congress, which was investigating the suspicion: 

"District of Columbia: Joseph Delafield having been sworn says that in explana- 
tion of that part of Col. Hawkins' affidavit which alludes to a conversation had with 
him respecting certain speculations in which D. A. Ogden, Esq. and Gen. P. B. 
Porter were interested, he states that during the past summer on descending the St. 
Lawrence from Ogdensburg to Hamilton in company with Mr. Ogden, much dis- 
appointment was expressed by him, in having been prevented from proceeding to 
Detroit, to attend to business of importance there, in which General Porter as well as 
himself was concerned. 

"That Mr. Ogden observed at the same time that this business related to a purchase 
of lands made by him; and in which General Porter was the proprietor of one share. 
That he understood the speculation to have been a purchase by Mr. Ogden of the 
Indian reservations in the Holland Company's tract: and not to have any relation 
whatever to his purchase of the islands in the St. Lawrence — That he does not recol- 
lect having had any conversation with Mr Gouverneur Ogden upon these subjects; 
nor any other than the conversation now described with Mr. D. A. Ogden. . . ." (Mss. 
in National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope II, Folder 3). 

1 "The Macomb right" is defined by David A. Ogden, in a deposition before a 
Committee of Congress on April 10, 1818 (text: National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, 
Arts. VI & VII, Envelope II, Folder 3) as "the interests which Alexander Macomb 
.... had of, in and to certain islands situated in the river St. Laurence and Lake 
Ontario .... those which shall be deemed upon the running of the line between 
Great Britain and the United States .... to fall within the limits of the United States." 

The deposition gives very specific descriptions of these islands, which David and 
Thomas L. Ogden had purchased from Alexander Macomb. 


myself set out about 1 1 o'clock a. m. to spend the day with Mr. D. A. 
Ogden at his island, and to meet the President 1 who had arrived there 
that morning. We reached Mr. Ogden's about 6 o'clock and spent the 
evening at his table. Cross to Hamilton to sleep. The Prest. had cross'd 
thro Chataga from Platsburgh & has ordered a road cut to the 4 

August 1st. Breakfast at Judge Ogden's with the President who is 
accompanied by Gen'l. Brown 2 and some of his staff. The Prest. ex- 
amines the island and neighboring country for military views. Point 
Iroquois, about 3 miles above Hamilton, is recommended by Gen'l. 
Brown and others as the most advantageous position to fortify. Col. 
Hawkins recommends Bluff Point, below 6 miles. The Prest. is anxious 
to examine both but Gen'l. Brown's arrangements for his progress on 
the road prevents his returning to Bluff Point. After breakfast the Presi- 
dent sets out for Ogdensburgh, and our party accompanies him. Dine 
with Mr. Parish and spend the night. The President, in the evening, 
proceeds on to Prossie & Antwerp, Mr. Parish's establishment, and is 
escorted by the citizens of Ogdensburgh. Was received by them also 
in a handsome manner. Mr. Parish entertains him in good stile as 
also did Mr. Ogden. Mr. Hasbrouck delivers an address, neat & manly. 

Wind S. W., clear and pleasant. The Prest. went about l /t the way 
from Hamilton in Gen'l. Porter's barge to examine Point Iroquois & 
then mounted his horse. 

2nd August. Return from Mr. Parish's at Ogdensburgh to our 
camp in Gen'l. Porter's barge. Stop at Hamilton and dine with Judge 
Ogden. Genl. Porter and Col. Hawkins severally had interviews with 
the President relative to the questions which arose some time ago as to 
the performance of their respective duties as Commissioner and Agent. 
On the 1st instant at Hamilton the President stated in amount that it was 
of national importance that the gentlemen should concur: that the 
British Gov't, ought to have appointed an Agent; not having done so, 
it became expedient that as little difficulty as circumstances would 
admit of should be made by the U. S.; and that, altho' Col. Hawkins 
had done perfectly right in remonstrating to the Govt, as he had done, 
and was also justified in the grounds he had taken, by former prece- 

1 President Monroe. Joseph Delafield had received a letter from his mother, dated 
July 20, 181 7, saying: "We see by the papers that the President in his route will visit 
St. Regis. Your elegant Marquee will no doubt be honored on this occasion." (Dela- 
field Mss. at Montgomery Place). In his message of December, 181 7, Monroe said: 
"Our own people are the barrier on the lakes." (Callahan: Neutrality of the American 
Lakes, p. 87). 

2 General Brown — Major General Jacob Brown on June 19, 181 7, from Brownville, 
directed all officers to give every aid to the Commission (Journal of July 24, 1822 p. 16). 


dent, still he advised that the Commissioners should proceed and that 
he, the Agent, should guard the interests of the U. S. whenever he 
might think them at risk; that should he require any particular surveys, 
they were to be had thro the surveyor of the Board if practicable; if 
not, by the assistance of as many surveyors as he might want. That 
should the Agent except to any proceedings of the Board, he was always 
at liberty to enter his protest, which should be filed. And that he, the 
President, on his return to the capitol, would lodge a letter in the 
Department of State approving of the Agent's conduct in this re- 
spect, and explanatory of the arrangement. Reach our camp in the 
evening and Genl. Porter goes on to Perkins'. . . . 

5th. Cloudy and some rain, wind very high from the S. W. Messers. 
Fine & Atwater spend the day & night with us in camp. 

Aug 6th. Cloudy but no rain, wind strong from the S. W. Our 
friends leave us in the morning. We discharge our waiter Matthew for 
disorderly and insolent conduct and put him on board batteaux for 
Montreal. Afternoon, the islanders come in for a rifle match. 

Aug. 7th. Steady rain, wind Easterly, continues to rain thro the 
night. Temperature moderate. 

Aug. 8th. . . . The Board meets at Col. Ogilvy's quarters at Shoikis 
at his request; he gives notice of his intention to proceed a few miles up 
the river and they adjourn. Genl. Porter, Mr. Adams & Majr. Fraser 
visit our quarters on their return 

Aug. nth. ... Go to Gen'l. Porter's (amp after breakfast, copy 
proceedings of the Board and compare the copies furnished by the 
Asst. Secy, preparatory to entering them of record on Agent's Journal. 
Dine with the Genl. & return in the afternoon. Cloudy. . . . 

14th. Majr. Fraser & myself leave our camp in the morning for 
St. Regis, by the way of Cornwall, pass to Stonelmrner's tavern, at 
the head of the Long Sault Great Shoot, and there take a wagon: stop 
at Col. Ogilvy's quarters at the mills on the rapid: stop at Mr. Woods' 
at Cornwall. Chief Justice Powell had but then adjourned his court; 
declined dining with our friends at Cornwall, proceed to Mr. McDon- 
ald's and reach St. Regis at twilight: very warm and clear, wind S. W. 
Find the village much deserted and the little paths winding thro the 
grass among houses, tolerably regular in their position, gave it a novel 
as well as pretty appearance. Their retentive memories at once an- 
nounced "Gara give ne gen!" which was only to be satisfactorily re- 
warded by a dram of rum. 

Aug. 15. Crossed after breakfast to Calquhoun's and returned to 
our camp by the same route I had left it on the day before. The 
rapids of the Long Sault are ascended by the means of towing paths. 
Two horses will draw up a batteaux. Before these paths were con- 

1 62 


structed many lives were annually lost in this rapid. A line was often 
made fast to the boat's crew, who would draw her up but sometimes 
an unlucky sheer would set the boat from the shore, when their strength 
would be insufficient to hold her, and they are drawn over the rapids 
beyond the reach of human assistance & the hope of recovery. 

Since the towing paths have been constructed, but one accident of 
this kind has occured; an unfortunate crew, somewhat drunk, neglect- 
ing to manage the boat, permitted her to sheer out, when, horses & 
all were plunged over the rapids. The horses were recovered below 
the mill. The two nearest residents, Stoneburner & Brownwell, at 
present work this path. It is government land, however, and any per- 
son is at liberty to use the path. As yet, no opposition has taken place. 
The government will not dispose of the pass. The toll for Canadian 
boats is i.oodll., for American 1.50, and more if laden. Before day 
break a heavy shower, morning cloudy and very warm, afternoon 
cloudy, wind S. W. Col. Ogilvy moves his camp about 10 miles from 
his position at Sheikis to . . . Island. 

Aug 1 6th. Clear and warm, light breeze from S. W. Mr. Wood and 
Judge Sheik visit us from Cornwall; accompany them to Genl. Porter's 
camp where we dine, with Col. Ogilvy &c, return in the evening and 
share our buffaloe robes with our friends. 

The Board met at Genl. Porter's Marquee. 

Aug 17th. Sunday. Warm, cloudy, wind strong from S. W. Rains 
in the night. 

Aug. 1 8th. Clear, wind S. W. Genl. Porter moves his camp and 
joins it to ours on Baxter's Island. 

19th Aug. Left our camp on Baxter's Island in the morning, in 
company with Genl. Porter, for Niagara. Cross'd to Osnabruck, pro- 
ceeded to Prescott & lodged at Ogdensburgh at night, spending the 
evening with the Messrs. Parish. 

20th. Embark on board steam boat Ontario, and reach Sackett's 
Harbor in the evening. Lodge on board. Wind throughout the day 
N. E. 

2 1 st. Strong wind from W. S. W. Attempt to get out of Sackett's 
Harbor in the steam boat, run about 7 miles under the lee of an island 
when we are obliged to return on account of high wind. Meet Genl. 
Scott 1 at the harbor, call on Col. Brady 2 Commdg. Offr., Col. Leaven- 
worth 3 &c, are detained all day, dined at McFarland's. Sun down 

1 General Winfield Scott, born in Virginia June 13, 1786. One of the most distin- 
guished of American Army officers. 

2 Colonel Hugh Brady, see Bk. X. 

3 Colonel Henry Leavenworth, was born at New Haven Dec. 10, 1783. He became 


and wind continues to blow very hard. Keeper of Mansion House 
assaults Majr. Biddle. 1 

Aug 2 2d. Get under way early in the morning, wind still very 
fresh from the S. W. A heavy gale comes on when about 20 miles 
from harbor and Captain Mallaby puts about with an intention to 
return to port, but is dissuaded by the passengers. Continue our 
course and reach Oswego in the evening. The inhabitants having 
kindly made fires on the two points forming the harbor as beacons &c. 
Is a small village and growing. The salt from Onondaga works is 
bro't to this place. 

Aug 23d. Heavy storm of rain and wind from N. E., E. N. E. & 
N. W.: get under way early in the morning, heavy sea, and steam 
boat laboring much, her engine not being of sufficient power for her 
bulk & the wind too strong to cam' sail. Reach Sodus Harbor and 
enter the same about 1 1 o'clock, having cross'd the bar with great 
peril but safely. Bar about 7 ft. water. Sea running much higher. 
Harbor is very secure and quiet, extending itself into the maine and 
covered by narrow necks of land. Village small, not much increase, 
was burnt during the war. Night — and storm continues: had we have 
kept on our course must have beached the boat to save our lives. 

Aug 24th. Lay in Sodus or Troupville Bay, waiting the fall of the 
wind and sea, until 10 o'clock at night, when Capt. Mallaby gets under 
way: the day clear and weather moderating until evening when it 
became pleasant. 

Aug 25th. Enter the Genessee River about 8 o'clock in the morning, 
having made a large offing in the lake during the night. The mouth 
of this river has a bar and narrow channel. While steam boat delivers, 
ride to Rochester 7 miles up the river. A most remarkable instance 
of rapid growth & population, it contains probably 1500 souls, 1200 
of which have certainly settled there within the two last years. A very 
busy & interesting village, many handsome houses, and everything 
has the show of style & dash. The upper Gennessee Fall opposite 
Rochester is 90 feet. The lower fall about 3 miles below, 80 ft. but 
more picturesque, being more broken and irregular. Opposite the 
lower fall on the East shore is Carthage, a village risen within the pres- 
ent year & it is supposed will rival Rochester. Opposite Carthage & a 

a lawyer, was commissioned a captain in the War of 18 12. He fought at Niagara and 
was brevetted a Brigadier General in 1824. Amongst other posts he founded Leaven- 
worth, Kansas. 

1 Major Thomas Biddle, born November 21, 1790. He was wounded in 1814 in 
the Battle of Lundy's Lane and became aid to General Izard. Killed in a duel at 
St. Louis in 1831. 


little below is a settlement called Hanford's Landing, which is perhaps 
the most promising site on account of its being the proper head of 
navigable water and a good landing. Banks of the river 200 ft., depth 
of river 30 ft. Get under way from mouth of the river at 2 o'clock p. m. 
Wind W. S. W. 

Aug. 26. About 8 o'clock a. m. are off the Niagara River. Fort 
Niagara, on the point on the American shore, & a large stone barracks 
built by the French and now refitting, first attract the attention. Fort 
Niagara appears, from the river, but a ruin and the encroachments 
of the rapid waters endanger the stone barracks. Preparations are 
making for repairs and a heavy wall which is contemplated round the 
point is as necessary as it will be ornamental. On the opposite shore 
is a work erected by the British since the war, consisting of a tower 
surrounded by fortified lines. Between this point and Fort George is 
Newark. This town has not yet risen from its ashes. Those who have 
rebuilt have gone rather further from the river than before. From Fort 
George to Queenstown are to be seen the remains of numerous little 
batteries on both shores. The current for this distance is rapid but the 
eddies & great depth make it a good navigation. Louistown on our side 
lies opposite Queenstown. Here is the head of navigation. Immediately 
above you enter the chasm between the mountains where the waters are 
in uproar. From the mouth of the river to Louistown is 7 miles and 
from thence to Schlosser above the Falls 7 miles, which is the portage. 
8000 blls. of salt has been transported across this road during the sum- 
mer. It is carried from Schlosser to Black Rock in batteaux & thence 
shipped to the west across the lakes. Messrs. Barton & Porter are the 
principals in this trade &c. We proceed to Judge Porter's 1 at the Falls. 2 
On the road and about 3 miles distant is the first glance that the 
traveler gets at this stupendous sight. It is here beautifully grand, but 
the partial view thro the woods & rocks is alone a gratification to the 
eye, something being left for fancy. On arriving at Judge Porter's, set 
out for a nearer view of the Falls. His house is above the Falls and about 
5 minutes walk from them. You emerge from the woods upon the side 
of the Fall, and have at once an entire view from this position. I was 
not disposed to depart, until my friends on the ladder were calling 
me to other scenes. Below the Fall I had an increased sensation of awe. 

1 Judge Augustus Porter, son of Joshua Porter, was born Salisbury, Conn. June 18, 
1769. Moved to Canandigua about 1790 where his brother, Peter Buel Porter, a boy of 
12, came to live with him. In 1806 they moved to Niagara and formed the firm Porter 
Barton & Co., doing a large shipping business: Judge of the Court of Common Pleas 
in 1808. He died in 1849. 

2 Niagara Falls. 


You here feel the mighty power of the waters, and may indulge in 
every emotion that wonder, gratitude & delight can create. Even here, 
however, the eye fixes on the opposite Falls and shore, whose far more 
extensive and terrible grandeur invites a nearer view. Having gone so 
near the Fall as to be wet thro by the spray, we ascended the ladder to 
dry ourselves &c. Iris Island (commonly called Goat Island) divides 
the Falls leaving ^ or more on the British side. On the American side 
the water has a yellow tinge owing to the streams that empty their 
waters colored by vegetable putrefactions &c. into it. On the British 
side the pure water of the lake shows its beautiful green transparent 
color, adding much to the beauty of the Falls. Iris Island contains 60 
acres of very fine land and is about \£ of a mile wide at its termination 
on the Fall. Judge Porter is now endeavoring to connect it to the main 
by a bridge & if he succeeds, intends building a public house for the 
entertainment of travelers & clear & ornament the island &c. There 
is about 4 ft. of water near the head of the island, where he proposes 
to have the bridge. From the head of the rapids to the Fall, the descent 
is said to be 60 ft. Below the Fall, and near it, no person has as yet been 
able to fathom. Where the ferry crosses a little way down it is 300 ft. 
deep. The Falls are computed to be 160 ft. The whole descent from 
Lake Erie to Ontario 330 ft. and from Ontario to Montreal 200 ft. 

Aug. 27th. Spend the morning about the Falls and endeavor to get 
on the Iris or Goat Island, but are disappointed in not finding the 
boat. Afternoon go to Schlosser Landing, near Portage Road. See the 
remains of an old French fort used to protect this carrying place, also 
the contemplated steam boat landing & new site for ware houses. 
Judge Porter has on the rapids grist, saw, bark, carding and other 
mills. One half mile on the shore & each side of Iris Island afford as 
eligible mill seats as can be found. This settlement is called Man- 
chester by some, by others Niagara, by others Schlosser. 

Aug. 28th. Leave Judge Porter's after breakfast and ride to Black 
Rock to dine. It is 20 miles. Country not much improved and road 
bad: a turnpike contemplated. Pass Tonnawanda Creek in a scow. 
Bridge carried away by the ice. A considerable stream to be used by 
the canal. Skejockatie Creek near Black Rock famous for the gallant 
defence made by Majr. Miller. Black Rock but a small settlement, was 
burned during the War. Genl. Porter has an elegant new house here, 
and himself and Barton & Co. are principal proprietors; they expect 
ultimately to rival Buffalo on account of their harbor. The objection 
to Buffalo is the bar and the smallness of the Creek, to Black Rock the 
rapid current that requires ten yoke of oxen to draw up a schoonr. 

Aug. 29th. Accompany Genl. Porter to Buffalo, a pretty village, 


much increased since it was burned. Visit the court house, much 
gratified on finding there my classmate Chaplin. He was addressing 
a jury on my entrance; also Olmstead was there. Took my college 
friends to dine with me at Pomeroy's and returned in the afternoon to 
Black Rock, stopping at Sand Town, where still remain some of the 
huts built by Genl. Izard's 1 army in the Campaign of 1814. 

Aug. 30th. Spend at Black Rock. Dine with Mr. Thompson. 10 
dlls. an acre is considered a fair price for land about Black Rock. The 
State has laid out a town between this and Buffalo. 

Aug. 31st. Remain at Black Rock, my college friends from Buffalo 
dine with me & Genl. Porter has many visitors from the neighborhood. 
Very warm. 

Sepr. 1 st. Cross the ferry at Black Rock to the Canada side, where is 
a small settlement called Waterloo; spend most of the day in roving 
about the ruins of Fort Erie and the British batteries in front, which 
can be readily traced from the fort thro the woods by the shot holes 
thro' and about the trees. In the evening take a seat with Judge Miller 
in his wagon, for the Falls and ride 2 miles beyond Palmer's, he being 
full of company returning from the Falls: day warm & clear. 

Sepr. 2d. Reach Forsyth's at the Falls to breakfast: find his house 
uncomfortably full. Two miles above passed the battle ground of 
Chippawa Sheets or Chippawa Creek: is 150 yards wide or more, & 
not fordable. The forts here are still kept up & Garrison village ap- 
pears to be improving. The land on this side is of clay soil and inferior 
to the other side: banks are higher, and particularly at the Falls. After 
breakfast descend the ladder & clamber along the rocks to the foot of 
the Falls. The current of air setting the spray to the west bank, we 
were wet thro & obscured in its rain, before we were under the sheet 
of falling water. Travellers go a few feet under, but this morning it 
was impracticable. Returning we find an easier path which is close 
along the bank instead of the shore: ascend the ladder & go to the 
Table Rock which is the most gratifying view. Much is added to its 
grandeur by the rapids above. The view from the corresponding point 
on the American shore has pleased me most. You there admire the 
vast beauties & sublimity of the scene immediately contiguous, and 
are at leisure to fix your attention upon the still more vast & grand 
sublimity of the Fall upon the British side. When on the Table Rock, 
or below on the British side, the American Fall hardly attracts the at- 
tention, and you are almost entirely employed with the bustling con- 
fusion & uproar of the nearest fall, so that to me much of its beauty 

1 General George Izard, born in South Carolina in 1 777, was a distinguished officer 
in the American Army. 


was at this point unobserved, and to my fellow travellers I believe 
the whole of it. Before reaching the ladder on the Canada side you 
have to descend a bank or hill of 80 ft. or more; then the ladder, after 
walking over a plain of 5 or 600 ft. The ladder is perfectly safe altho 
nearly perpendicular, and about 50 ft. long. On the American side 
your first descent is on a very strong ladder 80 or go ft. & rather more 
perpendicular than the other, & then down a bank of 100 or more ft. 
It is by far the easiest descent. The way to the Table Rock was very 
wet and muddy thro swamps &c. constantly kept supplied by the 
spray. Not being able to get comfortable quarters at Forsyth's, we 
leave in the afternoon and dine at Queenstown, passing the Lunday's 
Lane, Queenstown Heights &c. After dinner go to Newark, now called 
Niagara, passing Fort George which is contiguous. On the point or at 
the mouth of the river a strong work is erecting of which \^ is complete. 
Is about a mile from Fort Niagara. A garrison here of about 500 men. 
Find American steam boat at Lewistown and British boat at Niagara. 
Very warm. 

Sepr. 3d. Remain at Newark or Niagara; extremely warm. The 
troops at present here, are of the 70th Regt. (of Jamaica), considered 
one of the best for police discipline in His Majesty's service. Officers 
spend much of their time in their mess room, are well established; 
have a mess dinner set &c. complete, cost 3000^, presented to the 
Reg't in Jamaica by the islanders. Genl. Withington reviews the troops 
— look well. Afternoon cross to Fort Niagara, find Capt. Thompson 
there with whom I stay the night. The fort at present undergoing re- 
pairs and in great confusion of course. The wall building on the lake 
side is 14 ft. thick at its base: will be reduced to 4 ft. at top. The bank 
is about 40 ft. high. The wall is sunk to the bed of the lake. The old 
mess house, built a century ago by the French for a store house & 
protection, is a very strong building and is fitting up for officers' quar- 
ters. It was left in ruins by the enemy when they abandoned the fort. 
The fire places, roof &c. being so mutilated as to be useless. The British 
constructed bomb proof quarters under the South curtain of the fort 
when in possession, expecting a siege, which remain entire. This is 
said to be the warmest day experienced here this summer. 

Sepr. 4th. After breakfast return from the fort to Newark: indebted 
to Capt. Thompson for his civilities. Leave Newark for Queenstown 
and on arriving there find the steam boat underway — cross and learn 
that she intends waiting for us at the fort. Dine with Mr. Barton who 
gives me finer fruit, i. e. plums & peaches, than are usually found 
in New York, more particularly plums, which thrive well on this 

Sepr. 5th. Not finding Gen'l. Porter at Lewistown, agreeably to 


former arrangement, set out for the Falls to meet him, and find him 
suffering from an attack of intermittent fever & unable to proceed. 
Augs. Porter 1 whom I met on the round had been dispatched to ac- 
quaint me of this fact. Take leave of the Gen'l. & his brother's family 
and proceed to the steam boat off Young's Town (a new settlement 
one mile above Fort Niagara) and get underway from the mouth of 
the river about 5 o'clock p.m.: the day clear and warm, wind W.S.W. 
The Niagara frontier has recovered from the disasters of the war. 
Settlers do not as yet take up their residence here with the same eager- 
ness as farther West. The climate of Niagara is not very severe. Snow 
very seldom lies more than 6 weeks on the straits, and the flourishing 
peach trees indicate the fact of its being much milder than the lake 
or river below. The proprietors of houses &c. have mostly rebuilt since 
the war, & only wait for the compensation they expect from the Govt., 
to make larger improvements. Their opposite neighbors still feel bitter 
toward many of the borderers, and exchange no civilities. 

The Falls of Niagara were accurately measured by order of Mr. 
Vaudreuil, Governor General of Canada, and found to be 26 fathoms 
perpendicular height. Vaudreuil was Governor General in 17 14. This 
measurement agrees very near with that of the present day. 

Father Hennepin 2 writes it 100 fathoms. The mountain is not so 

1 Augustus Seymour Porter; younger son of General Peter Buel Porter, was born in 
1798 and in 1838 became a United States senator. 

2 Father Louis Hennepin was sent to Canada in 1673 and first visited Niagara 
Falls in 1678. 


September 6, 1817 to June 26, 1818 

181 7 — Sepr. 6th. Reach the mouth of the Genessee River at 8 
o'clock a.m. having left Niagara on the preceeding evening. The 
steam boat proceeds up the river five miles to Carthage to take in freight. 
This is a settlement of one year's growth, and great spirit is evinced in 
the proprietors who are striving to rival Rochester. They build hand- 
some houses, but the village proprietors are as yet the sole builders, 
with the exception of some mechanics in their employ. At 2 o'clock 
p.m. leave the Genessee River and are ofTSodus Harbor by dark: send 
in a boat for the passengers, and keep on our voyage. From Niagara to 
Genessee is called 85 miles, from Genessee to Sodus 30 miles. 

Sepr. 7th. Arrive at Oswego 9 o'clock a.m. Are detained a short 
time for freight and proceed, the day pleasant and wind in our favor. 
Arrive at Sacket's Harbor in the afternoon. Wait upon Col. Leaven- 
worth, and leave my blank duplicate receipts for one wall and one 
common tent furnished by his politeness, upon my requisition: distance 
from Oswego to Sacket's Harbor 50 miles. 

Sepr. 8th. Leave Sacket's Harbor at 6 o'clock a.m. and reach 
Ogdensburgh about 8 in the evening, the distance is computed to be 
90 miles: go to Wright's Tavern, said to be the best, but poor indeed, 
and the landlord found fault with my fellow travellers. Gravel Point 
forms one side of the entrance of the river from Lake Ontario: de- 
scending about 15 miles you come to the first of the Thousand Islands: 
they are all shapes & sizes and with the exception of the very few large 
ones are barren rocks, showing a few pine trees on their surface. They 
form nevertheless a scenery picturesque beyond ordinary conception. 
Are said to exceed 1000 in number: Comde. Owen in his charts lays 
down many less. To survey them with the same accuracy as has been 
given to the first of our work will require some years. They extend 
20 miles down the river. Brockville is a pretty village upon the Canada 
side, 12 miles above Ogdensburgh. Morristown, on our side, is nearly 
opposite & in its infancy. Ogdensburgh is a very pretty village, but 
just now seems to lag. Mr. Parish & Judge Ford have done very much, 
and it is now their object to have others do the like. 

Sepr. 9th. Mr. G. Parish orders my baggage to his house in my 
absence, which I had declined doing myself, on account of the strangers 


whom he was then entertaining with his wonted hospitality. Mr. 
Pitcairn, Count Quenette & son, Mr. & Mrs. Bridgewater & sister & 
myself formed the party at his house. We had descended the river to- 
gether. Mr. Pitcairn a gentleman in & of all countries, Mr. & Mrs. 
Bridgewater, prejudiced but good-natured English folks, Count Quen- 
ette, an exiled Frenchman, our host, an adopted American &myself 
the more American under existing circumstances, passed a few days 
together most pleasantly, altho frequently at odds. 

Sepr. ioth. Spent at Ogdensburgh with Mr. Parish. Weather 
warm and clear. . . . 

Sepr. 1 2th. Left Mr. Parish in comp. with Judge Ogden & Mr. 
and Mrs. Bridgewater, and arrived at the Judge's late in the evening: 
descended in a batteaux. Wind during afternoon from N.E. and cool. 

Sepr. 13th. Clear and cool, a sharp frost this morning. Wind N.E. 
Leave the Judge's after breakfast for our camp with Mr. G. Ogden. 
On reaching Genl. Porter's camp, below Bluff Point, learn that Col. 
Hawkins has proceeded up the river and was at Louch's, 4 miles above. 
After a few hours with Majr. H., set out for Louch's & meet our barge 
on its way for me. Spend the night with the Col. at Louch's. 

Sepr. 14th. Sharp frost this morning. Wind N.E. Col. Hawkins & 
self visit lower camp, he on his way to Montreal. He continues his 
route in the afternoon & I return to Louch's with Mr. Adams, who 
leaves me in the evening. Mr. Adams has his work complete above 
Impay's Island, including mapping. 

The British party have their camp just below Hamilton on the 
Canada shore & their stations set thus far, but their work not completely 
up. An astronomer is with them to observe at St. Regis — and rumors 
exist of the appointment of an Agent on the British side. 1 

Sepr. 15th. Cloudy and raw chilling weather, wind N.E. Explore 
the neighboring country. Louch's is in the town of Williamsburgh, in 
which there is no principal settlement. Bluff Point on our shore, has a 
corresponding point on the British, but it is very low: there is on it the 
remains of a pitiful work demolished by Gen'l. Brown's advance, when 
the army descended in 18 14. About one mile (or rather over) from the 
river is a swamp. It commences 1 mile above Louch's and extends a 
distance of 1 mile down. It has been represented as impassable; this 
is not true. There is a road across it on Louch's land and no great 
difficulty in making them elsewhere. It varies in width from X t0 K 
of a mile. This part of the province is intersected by frequent deep 
ravines, mostly dry. The soil is good, a black soil & clay bottom pre- 

^ohn Hale was appointed British Agent on November 21, 181 7 (Journal of July 
24, 1822, p. 24). 


vails. Maple, elm & pine are its woods. Afternoon stormy, a steady 
rain with easterly winds. 

Louch has one island of 100 acres passing by his name often called 
"Church Island" and two others, one of 20 and one of 25 acres, under 
Indian title. The former is opposite the Williamsburgh Lutheran 
Church, the latter opposite Messrs. Merkoley & Hanes', and are 
known by the Indian name of Nesgertoha or Nut Islands. Louch has 
a lease from the St. Regis Chiefs in 1806 when they were united, and 
another lease of 181 7 from the British Chiefs who have seceded, but is 
uneasy about his right of property or title. 

Sepr. 1 6th. Weather wet, heavy mist throughout the day. Wind S. 
W. Williamsburgh is laid out like other townships in Canada, into con- 
cessions, that is, a township is divided by 9 roads parallel with river, 
forming as many lots called concessions. 

This part of Canada has been settled about 30 years, its improvement 
slow. Soil rich loom & clay bottom. In the afternoon take canoe & 
my blankets and proceed to lower camp to remain until Col. Hawkins 
returns from Montreal. Afternoon, showers. Louch's tavern very indiff- 
erent, dirty & uncomfortable. He a civil man & independent farmer. 

Sepr. 17th. Cloudy, wind W.S.W. Col. Ogilvy, Dr. Tiarks 1 (as- 
tronomer) & Mr. Nicoll visit us in camp. At night rain. 

Sepr. 1 8th. Clear weather, high winds during the morning from 
the N.W., evening clear and pleasant. Mr. Adams completes his survey 
to Bluff Point. 

Sepr. 19th. Heavy fog on the river until 8 o'clock, is carried off to 
the S.W. when day becomes clear and pleasant. Wind X.E. In the after- 
noon accompany Mr. Adams to Bluff Point, examining it as a military 

This point is in the town of Louisville, and about 2*^ miles from the 
line of Madrid Township. It is very prominent and has command 
down the river as far as the range of ordinance. Up the river it has the 

1 Johann Ludwig Tiarks was an astronomer who had been associated with Thomas 
Barclay when he was Commissioner under the V Article of the Treaty of Ghent. On 
August 25, 1 81 7, Barclay had notified the Commissioners Porter and Ogilvy, under 
the VI and VII Articles, that "Dr. Tiarks .... is to go to St. Regis for the purpose 
of ascertaining the 45th degree of North Latitude" (Journal Sept. 24, 181 7). The point 
where this 45th degree strikes the river Iroquois or Cataraguy was to be the beginning 
of the line westward to Lake Superior (Art. VI of Treaty of Ghent). For Andrew Elli- 
cott's observations relative to the determination of this intersection, see National Arch- 
ives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope IV, Folder 1 which contains also 
a number of other documents, of strictly scientific interest, relative to this point, which 
obviously concerned the Commissions under Art. V and those under Arts. VI & VII. 


like command, but its great advantages I consider much impaired by 
the fact that an island lies within its bearing up the river and between 
y^ and y^ mile distant. 

The river's depth is greatest toward the American side. On the 
British side it is very shoal and rapid, so that batteaux pass with diffi- 
culty and delay. Bluff Point is, on the river, 1 1 y^ feet high. It then rises 
gradually to about 27 ft. which is the highest elevation and about 150 
ft. from the shore. The formation of this point is singularly adapted for 
defense as well as offense. From its highest ground there is a gradual 
descent to the rear and to the right and left, terminating in either di- 
rection in a swamp, distance say 280 yds. After passing this swamp 
which is half a mile wide you again come to dry land, but it is low and 
level for miles, nor is there any high land in this part of the country. 

Sepr. 20th. Weather clear and pleasant in the morning, at noon 
wind strong from the S.W. and cloudy. Genl. Porter arrives from 
Niagara recovered in health. Rain in the afternoon. After breakfast 
leave camp with Mr. Adams, and land opposite Bluff Point to explore 
the Canada side and interior. About half a mile above this point, on 
this side corresponding to Bluff Point (on which is the trace of a little 
work), is a ravine, at its termination on the river, 20 ft. deep. This 
ravine inclines suddenly to the N.E. and loses itself in a swamp and 
woods in rear of the point, and about y^ of a mile distant. For a long 
distance this swamp extends itself, and cannot be passed by the foot 
traveller except by one of the roads that I found open thro it. Heavy 
guns on Bluff Point would command the Canada shore to the swamp, 
and oblige an enemy to extend their route thro the interior at great 
expense in roads &c. The command of the river is complete, and of the 
land as much so as art could have contrived it. The Canada shore at 
the point is 4 ft. high, and ascends perhaps to 7. 

Sepr. 21. Morning clear and pleasant, Wind N.E., cool at sunrise, 
at noon mild, but cloudy. Col. Ogilvy, Messrs. Sewell and Tiarks visit 
Genl. Porter. A meeting of the Board is arranged for Tuesday the 23d. 
In the evening have a fine view of the heavens, and the neighboring 
settlers who visited the camp are delighted with a view thro the as- 
tronomical telescopes. 

Sepr. 2 2d. Morning cloudy, damp and cold, clears off about 8 
o'clock. Mr. Adams sets off for a week's tour of duty. At noon cloudy 
and in the afternoon it begins to rain and continues throughout the 
night. Temperature moderate, wind N.E. 

Sepr. 23d. Damp, gloomy day, with a little rain, wind N.E. Genl. 
Porter too unwell to attend meeting of the Board. In the evening rain, 
Tempe. moderate. 

Sepr. 24th. Before day break a very heavy gale, accompanied with 


much rain from the S.W. Ceases raining by 8 o'clock a.m., but wind 
continues a gale. Cross the river with Genl. Porter & Secry. & proceed 
with them to Col. Ogilvy's camp below the Rapids Plat, about 9 miles 
from our camp. Dine with Col. Ogilvy and return as far as Louch's. 
The Board met at the British camp. Heavy clouds threatening rain 
through the day, evening clear and pleasant. 

Sepr. 25th. Clear and strong wind from the S.W. Leave Louch's 
for the camp, stop with Mr. Adams who is unable to make progress 
on account of the high wind. Col. Ogilvy and Mr. Tiarks stop at the 
camp on their way to St. Regis and take with them our repeating circle 
& barometer. Mr. Tiarks is the astronomer sent on for the purpose of 
determining the latitude of that place. Join the deer hunt in a canoe. 
Mr. Polly and his hound drive a buck to the river but he eludes us. 
This Mr. Polly is a remarkable shot with a rifle. He was Sergt. under 
Forsyth and once saved his captain's life (Capt. Lidell) by shooting 
an Indian who was stealing behind the captain, firing betwixt the arm 
and body of the Capt. and thus thro the body of the Indian! He gave 
us proof of wonderful skill with the rifle. Cool during the day & heavy 
clouds overhead, evening clear. . . . 

Sepr. 27th. Genl. Porter, Majr. Fraser, Mr. Bird & myself set out 
(the three latter on foot) to search for a proper spot for the next en- 
campment near Hamilton. After scrambling over logs and thro the 
mud for about S}4 rniles we came to Bryce's Point, which we conclude 
upon as most eligible. We dine upon a piece of rusty pork the Gen'l. 
had been provident enough to bring in a pr. of saddle bags, and some 
red squirrels shot on the road. 1 We commence our return by the same 
route — and have the good fortune to fall in with Adams in his barge 
about 1^4 rniles from the camp, who affords a most seasonable relief. 
Wind S.W. high and cool. 

Sepr. 28th. High wind from the S.W. and cloudy. Strike our tents 
& prepare to move. Commences raining, reach our encamping ground 
in the afternoon. Pitch some of the tents. Cold night. 

Sepr. 29th. Leave the camp for Louch's preparatory to moving up 
our establishment to the General's. Meet our barge coming for me, 
having returned from Montreal, without the Col. (Hawkins) who had 
gone to Quebec. In the afternoon dispatch the barge with a load of 
camp equipage to Genl. Porter's camp, with instructions to be with 
me early in the morning. In the morning high winds from the S.W., 
afternoon cloudy and no wind. Cold in the morning. 

Sepr. 30th. Employ Louch's batteaux and move our establishment 
to Bryce's Point at the head of Dry Island and about 1 y^ miles below 

1 A footnote adds: "Roast Pork and Fraser's Cherry Bounce." 


Hamilton: spend the day pitching Marquee &c. High wind, S.W. 

Octr. i st. Cold, frosty morning, high winds. 

Octr. 2nd. Clear, pleasant day but cool. Louis goes to St. Regis: 
spend evening at Judge Ogden's. Visit British camp in the afternoon. 

Octr. 3d. Clear, pleasant day. Judge Ogden, Mr. Fine &c. dine & 
spend day with us. 

Octr. 4th. Clear and pleasant, wind S.W. Atmosphere becomes 
thick and smoky denoting Indian Summer. Spend evening at Judge 

Octr. 5th. Col. Hawkins returns from Quebec. Weather cloudy, 
wind S.W. Judge Ogden & family, Col. Ogilvy & Secy &c. dine in 
camp. Afternoon rain & continues thro the night. Take the ladies 
home in the evening to Ogden's Island, and the rain having rendered 
the banks slippery have some difficulty & much sport in making a 
safe ascent & landing. 

Octr. 6th. Cloudy morning, temperature moderate, day becomes 
clear and pleasant. Spend the evening at British camp. Rains in the 
evening, and storm continues thro the night. Wind S.W. Col. Ogilvy 
entertains the party of yesterday in his camp on Ogden's Island. 

Octr. 7. Steady rain, wind S.W. Storm increases, and violent gales 
from the N.W. make it necessary that we brace anew the Marquees &c, 
to preserve them from blowing away. Storm continues thro the night, 
wind shifts again to S.W. 

Octr. 8th. Rain ceases, but the wind continues high and blustering, 
mostly from the N.W. At night rain commences, and continues thro 
the night. Mr. Adams not enabled to make much progress, but busily 
engaged adjusting stations &c. The neighboring woods show, by their 
hues, the last verge of Autumn; a change produced since the 5th., more 
rapid than observed by myself at any Fall heretofore. . . . 

October 10th. Cold, cloudy, disagreeable morning, high wind 
from S.W., afternoon more moderate and pleasant. Cross to the 
Canada shore, find at Hane's Tavern (a miserable hole) Mart. Hoff- 
man waiting for a batteaux to descend the river. Take him with me 
to camp to spend the night. Col. Hawkins goes to Brockville, in the 
Canada stage, a waggon without any springs whatever, covered with 
a black painted canvass cloth, looking like a hearse, for riding in which 
you pay 12^ cents per mile. 

October 10th. Foggy, damp and cold morning, clears off about 
9 o'clock with high winds from W. to W.S.W. The week past has been 
extremely unpleasant weather, causing us to remain pretty constantly 
by our fire in the woods, using our Marquees only for sleeping. A re- 
treat made very comfortable by pitching the roof of a Marquee, and 
its wall on the side the wind may come from, forming at once a mess 
room, office, &c. 


Sunday, Octr. 12th. Clear and more moderate temperature than 
during the past week, but high wind from the S.W. Remain in camp. 
In the evening a very remarkable thunder storm comes on from the 
W.N.W. and lasts for two hours. It was remarkable because the wind 
had been blowing a gale throughout the day from the S.W. The 
lightning was vivid and frequent. 

Monday, October 13th. Violent gales of wind from the N.W., 
temperature moderate. Weather changing every half hour, sometimes 
a bright sun & sometimes the threatening of a heavy storm of both 
wind & rain. Distant heavy thunder both in the morning and after- 
noon. Mr. Adams not enabled to set his theodolite but in the lee of 
islands on account of the high winds. 

Tuesday, Octr. 14. Clear and pleasant morning, wind light from 
the S.W. The Board sits at Gen'l. Porter's Marquee. Comr. Ogilvy 
reports that his surveyor was about finishing his work as high as the 
White House where they should break off. Mr. Adams is instructed 
to proceed to that point with his survey as soon as practicable. The 
Board adjourns to hold their next meeting at St. Regis (where Mr. 
Tiarks is now observing). . . . preparatory to their adjourning over for 
the season. In the afternoon weather becomes cloudy and wind rises; 
but has been a good day for the survey. Col. Hawkins returns from 

Wednesday, Octr. 15. Clear, high wind from the S.W. Col. Haw- 
kins leaves the camp for St. Regis, with the barge. A cold morning, 
ice exceeding half an inch in thickness found in our basins. Becomes 
cloudy and unpleasant in the afternoon. Breath freezes at night on our 
blankets in the Marquee. 

Thursday, October 16. Cloudy in the morning and chilling wind, 
N.W. A pretty good day, however, for the surveyor, Mr. Adams, who 
is at work in the Rapide Plat. He is driven to camp, however, just 
before sun down, by a flight of snow and increase of wind from the 
S.W. Blows over, and wind comes round to the N.W. 

Friday, Octr. 17. Find the ground lightly covered with snow in the 
morning, and the appearance of its continuance. 

Changes to a damp cold day with wind from S.W. 

Saturday, Octr. 18. A pleasant and clear day, wind in the morning 
N.W. Go to Hamilton and visit the mills, new Church &c. Examine an 
ingenious machine for cutting nails, invented by a man there. It cuts 
5 nails in 2 seconds, with no other labor than that of holding the iron 
plate to the mouth of the machine. It is a good place for mills. Judge 
Ogden, however, will not grant any privileges. There is a mill on the 
Canada side, on the Rapide Plat, the wheel of which is simply turned 
by the rapids. The fall of the whole rapid is about 12 ft., extending, 
however, a distance of 3 miles. 


Col. Ogilvy and party break up their camp and proceed to St. 
Regis, having finished their survey for the season, ending at the White 
House. Mr. Adams makes a good day's work, and has his stations per- 
fected to the head of Ogden's Island on the North channel. 

Sunday, Octr. 19. Clear and pleasant morning, afternoon a vio- 
lent storm of rain and wind from the S.W. Clears off before midnight 
with a strong gale from the N.W. 

Mr. Adams completes his calculations, mapping &c, as high as his 
observations, and is much gratified with the great accuracy of his 
work, insisting that no error which can possibly exceed one inch can 
be found in the last twelve miles' work, and not to exceed three inches 
in his work from St. Regis, a distance of more than forty miles; all of 
which is verified by repeated proofs in the correspondence of his work 
&c. and not surpassed by any surveys in the world, not excepting 
Spanish which are of the highest reputation. This, however, is rather 
too minute, altho the accuracy is remarkable. 

Monday, Octr. 20th. An uniformly clear day, wind steady from the 
N.W. and cold. Dispatch Terah to Ogdensburgh to cash a draft of 
Col. Hawkins' for 500 dlls. In the evening Mr. Vining and Mr. G. 
Ogden come to see me and remain during the night, which we spend 
by our fire in the woods. Our friends enjoy themselves to the full, but 
our hard fare, or more truly our good cheer causes them to exclaim in 
the morning "no more of your camp nights for us!" We slept by the 
fire in the bushes under the roof of a Marquee sheltered from the winds 
and kept ourselves warm with hot toddy til a late hour, to the incon- 
venience of our friends the next day. 

Tuesday, Octr. 21. Clear and pleasant day throughout, wind W. 
& S.W., Tempe. moderate at midday, at night cold. Strike the Marquee 
and make other preparations toward breaking up for the season. 
Terah returns from Ogdensburgh with the amnt. of the draft in paper 
and specie. 

Wednesday, Octr. 22. Clear and temperature moderate, wind high 
from the S.W. In the afternoon transport all the camp equipage and 
baggage belonging to the Agency to Hamilton, and store it with a 
Mr. Fulton in his chambers, for the use of which he is to be paid five 
dollars. Pay Genl. Porter 150 dlls. on acct. of Col. Hawkins' order on 
him in favor of T. Clinton. Spend the evening with the Ogdens. 

Thursday, Octr. 23. Raining and disagreeable day, wind S.W. 
Leave the camp at Boice's Point with Genl. Porter and Mr. Ogden for 
St. Regis in our skiff, which we reach about sunset, having passed the 
Long Sault Rapide without a pilot in safety, and with shipping a little 
water, an experiment however not to be recommended. Weather con- 
tinues thick thro the day: at night rain. 


Friday, Octr. 24th. Thick and cloudy, wind N.E. Pay off and dis- 
charge Louis Gray. 

Saturday, Octr. 25. Clear and high wind, N.W. Dine with Col. 
Ogilvy at his camp which he has pitched on the line as cut by Mr. 
Ellicott. Spend the evening and return to Anderson's miserable tavern 
to sleep (at St. Regis). 

Sunday, Octr. 26. Rain thro the day, attend the Catholic Church 
in the village in the morning, and return pleased with the decency in 
appearance of the natives, and decorum in the manner of their worship. 
Remain at Anderson's, which is only made tolerable by the good com- 
pany collected there. Both parties of the Commission, Mr. Hogan, Mr. 
Ogden, Judge Atwater, Judge Raymond making a singular collection of 
good company for this part of the country, and a pleasant party. 

Monday, Octr. 27. Storm continues, wind N.E. The Board sits at 
Col. Ogilvy's Marquee. Afternoon the party dines with us at Ander- 
son's. Stormy night. 

Tuesday, Octr. 28. Cold and disagreeable morning, wind N.E. and 
flights of snow. Clears off about noon, cold night, some snow and rain. 

Wednesday, Octr. 29th. Cloudy morning, trifling flight of snow. 
Clears off by 10 o'clock and is pleasant. Mr. Sewell leaves camp for 
winter quarters. Dr. Tiarks continues his observations: visit him at 
night finding him about to peep at the North Star. Return to Ander- 
son's. The mercury at 10 o'clock in the evening stood at 24 . Dr. 
Tiarks has the use of the repeating circle belonging to our observatory, 
a superb instrument of Troughton's make, with some improvements 
suggested by Mr. Hassler. 1 

Col. Hawkins goes to French Mills. 

1 Ferdinand Rudolph Hassler. First head of U. S. Coast Survey. In 181 8 Congress 
refused to appropriate money for the coast survey. In the Memoirs of Hassler, by 
Emil Zschokke, 1877, appears the following: 

"The Coast Survey being broken up in 1818, he accepted the situation of American 
Astronomer to the North Eastern Boundary line commission, and while on that com- 
mission established the fact that at the Treaty of Ghent, Rousses Point, New York, 
belonged to the United States, he claiming Heliocentric Latitude, the English As- 
tronomer, Dr. Tiarks, the Geocentric Latitude, by the former the Point was a few 
yards south of the 45th parallel by the latter a few yards north, as subsequently con- 
ceded in the Ashburton Treaty." 

On June 5, 1 816, he ordered a zenith sector of 6 feet from Troughton, London, for 
coast survey work. This was probably the same instrument used on the St. Lawrence. 
In 181 7-18 Hassler was one of the few men in the U. S. capable of doing astronomical 
and geodetic work of precision (Reports and Other Documents, Coast Survey, 181 6- 


Sept. 9, 181 7, Lieut. William Gibbs McNeil, Artillery, joined Hassler as Assistant. 
He was born in North Carolina in 1800. Graduated West Point in 181 7. He became 
a noted railroad engineer. 


Thursday, Octr. 30. Clear and pleasant morning. Gen'l. Porter, 
Majr. Fraser & Mr. Ogden leave us at day break, cross to Cornwall and 
proceed to Hamilton. The Genl. will strike the remaining camp and 
proceed to Black Rock for the winter. 

Col. Hawkins returns from French Mills. 

Friday, Octr. 31. Clear and moderate: wind S.W.: employ the men 
in opening the mound on Petite Isle de St Regis, to search for Indian 
relics, but find nothing but some skeletons, flint spear & pipe, Col. 
Hawkins having before got from it the principal curiosities. At night 
rain, wind N.E. 

Saturday, Novr. 1. Cloudy, Tempe. moderate, wind N.E. The In- 
dians celebrate All Saints Day under direction of the Catholic Priest. 
At night it commences raining and changes to hail; ends in snow, gale 
of wind. 

Sunday, Novr. 2. Heavy storm of snow, with gale of wind from 
N.E., continues throughout the day and moderates at night. Snow lies 
about 1 ft. deep. 

Monday, Novr. 3. Storm abated, wind N.W., cloudy and appear- 
ance of more snow. At noon take leave of St. Regis without regret, and 
take passage with Col. Ogilvy in his barge for Montreal, first crossing 
to McDonald's at Cornwall, where the party assembles, delaying our 
departure til 4 p.m. Afternoon cold and cloudy. Reach Point aux 
Bodette 1 or McGee's Point about 10 at night having crossed Lake St. 
Francis without suffering much. Find the snow deeper and finer as we 
descend the river. Find McGee's house crowded with vagabonds and, 
it being agreed that we start before day break, I wrap myself in 
my cloak, and, with my feet to the fire, stretched on the floor, sur- 
rounded by our party. Enjoy a good nap. Mr. Markoe, the St. Regis 
Priest, accompanies us. He is a pleasant and an amiable young man. 

Tuesday, Novr. 4. Get under way at 4 o'clock a.m., pass the 
rapids at the Coteau at sun rise and run to the Cedars, where we 
breakfast, and about 9 o'clock pass the rapids of the Cedars in the 
greatest safety and pleasure. Pass the cascades which are still more 
rough and reach La Chine by 2 o'clock. Take a pilot for the La 
Chine Rapids and, being delayed in searching for one, do not arrive 
at Montreal til sunset. The last rapids I consider the most danger- 
ous, and not to be passed without a skilful pilot, narrow passages 
thro rocks (over which flow torrents), shallows and rough water, make 
these rapids alarming. An attempt has been made to improve this 
navigation by art which makes it the more necessary 7 to confide your 
boat to a resident pilot. We could not have witnessed these splendid 

1 Beaudette. 


scenes under better advantages than at this period. The whole coun- 
try being covered with snow, at a little distance you could not dis- 
tinguish where the white curling tops of the rapids ended, or the snow 
began, the whiteness of the one rivalling that of the other, and appear- 
ing to the eye one extended uproar of raging waters. Below the cas- 
cades you enter Lake St. Louis. On the South shore is the great Beau- 
haunois 1 estate, Chatteagay 2 & Cocknowaga 3 (an Indian village). Its 
tribe has extensive reservations. On the North side is Isle Plast, Point 
Clear & La Chine. The King's stores are about 2 miles below La Chine 
Church, from which are sent all the public supplies for the N. Province 
&c. There are also along this shore some old ware houses of the North 
West Company. At Chataguey 1 Point is a Nunnery. It was formerly an 
old trading place of great strength, is said by some, however, to have 
been built by Indians. Above Montreal is Nun's Island: there is a Nun- 
nery on it, and it belongs to Nuns. The Island of Montreal belongs to 
the Priests. It was an enormous principality as an estate, and now yields 
them a large revenue. They receive 5 per cent, on all sales of real 
property on the island, as informed by Col. Ogilvy. Part of this revenue 
is sent to France. Lodge at the Mansion House. 

Wednesday, Novr. 5. Cloudy but mild, wind S.W. Make prepara- 
tion to leave Montreal on the morrow. Mr. Colt sells Col. Hawkins' 
draft for 450 dlls., at par. 

The Mansion House is an excellent establishment, but appears to be 
too extensive for the place. Mr. Moulson the proprietor is a man of 
wealth, and is at great expense in building &c. Mr. Shaw, the North 
West trader dines with us. He has lately returned from the Red River 
and tells me that while there, he caused a human head to be carried 
and fixed upon a stake which he drove in the river, about the spot 
where in his estimation the line would run, and told the Indians to let 
it remain, for in 2 or 3 years strangers would come that way (meaning 
the Commissioners) who would like to find it and that they promised 
to do so. 4 

Thursday, Novr. 6. Weather moderate and morning promises fair 
weather. Get ready to leave Montreal and cross to Longueil at 1 
o'clock. Difficulty in procuring sufficient stages: am obliged to leave 
Thomas with the baggage to get on the best way he can. Begins to 
rain; roads exceedingly muddy. Reach St. John's 8 o'clock at night, 
put up at Cameron's, the best house. Thomas does not arrive with the 
baggage. Storm increases but Tempe. moderate, wind S.W. 

1 Beauharnois. 

1 Chateauguay. 

8 Caughnawaga. 

4 Probably on bank of Red River at Fort Pembina, Minn. 


Friday, Novr. 7. Cloudy, wind S.W. Thomas arrives with baggage 
just in time to save passage in the steam boat. Leave St. John's y^ past 
8 o'clock in the Phoenix, Capt. Sherman, an excellent boat and a good 
master. Has an engine of 50 horse power and is 500 tons: sails at the 
rate of 9 miles an hour in dead water. Stop at several places to deliver 
freight, and are obliged to come to in the night somewhere about 
Crown Point on account of a very thick fog. Arrive at Whitehall next 
morning at 9 o'clock. 

Saturday, Novr. 8th. A heavy fog prevents our running into White- 
hall 'til about 9 o'clock. Mr. McGillevray, Mr. Shaw, Mr. Fraser, all 
of the North West Company, Mr. Cox & myself take an extra stage 
and a baggage waggon for Albany, paying 50 dlls. for the stage and 10 
for the waggon: lodge at Salem that night at a very good house kept 
by Ter. Boss. Is a pretty village, some handsome houses. The country, 
well cultivated, is hill & dale, making beautiful views &c. 

Sunday, Novr. 9th. Send on the baggage waggon, after break- 
fast, leave our good quarters at Ter. Boss's & proceed: arrive in Albany 
in the afternoon and take lodgings at the Mansion House kept by Skin- 
ner, a better house than Baird's. 

Monday, Novr. 10. Clear and pleasant, Tempe. moderate. Pass 
the day in ranging about AJbany, visiting public buildings & places. 
The new academy is a fine building and the Lancaster School also does 
credit to the citizens — and they are both evidences of a praiseworthy 
exertion to diffuse learning. The upper part of the town is improving 

Tuesday, Novr. 1 1 . Left Albany in the steam boat Paragon Ror- 
back at 9 in the morning: clear & pleasant, wind southwardly. In the 
evening were obliged to come to anchor on account of a heavy fog 
which prevented our progress during the night & did not entirely dis- 
appear til the next night. 

Wednesday, Novr. 12. Thick fog that delays us, clears away about 
noon, wind South: arrive in the city 1 about 7 p.m. 

May 17th, 1 81 8. Leave New York in the steam boat, Richmond, in 
the morning, in company with Col. Hawkins and Lady for the bound- 
ary line. Heavy storm of wind & rain from the N.E. 

May 1 8th. Reach Albany about 4 o'clock and proceed thro Troy 
to Geoman's at Pittsfield to lodge: rains part of the day. 

19th. Reach Root's near Granville to lodge: roads very bad, 
owing to incessant rains for more than a month past. Rains throughout 
the day. 

1 New York City. 


May 20th. Passing thro Granville arrive at Whitehall at I o'clock 
and embark on board steam boat Phoenix at 2 o'clock for St. John's, 
where we arrive about 1 1 o'clock the next morning: rains most of the 

May 2 1 st. Leave St. John's about noon, take batteaux at La Priarie, l 
and arrive at the Mansion House in Montreal at 4 o'clock p.m.: the 
road across La Priarie very bad. 

May 22nd. Procure calashes at Montreal and proceed after break- 
fast to St. Anne's, which is the extreme point of the island, where we 
cross the Ottowa to Vaudreuil 2 . Have great difficulty in procuring 
other calashes or means of conveyance, and are finally obliged to seek 
lodgings for the night in the neighborhood. Are fortunate enough to 
be entertained in the house of a Canadian who had been formerly in 
the employ of the N.W. traders, and in better circumstances than most 
of them. The tavern near the point where travellers are landed is a 
miserable hovel, and the Canadians who keep the ferry would not 
forward us because, as we afterwards discovered, the roads were bad. 
A pleasing evidence of the manners of the politer French was evinced 
by our elderly landlady, about 60 yrs. of age. On our appearance in the 
morning, after the usual salutations, she presented Mrs. Hawkins 
with a boquet of flowers, plucked from the little stock she had nour- 
ished thro the winter. The landlord was equally civil and at our service, 
and was ready with three calashes in the morning to forward our party 
to the Cedars, about 7 miles distant for 9 dlls., a sum however extra- 
vagant in this quarter, could not be denied the polite Canadian. 

May 23d. Proceed from Vaudreuil to the Cedars, from thence to 
the Coteau du Lac, where we crossed Lake St. Francis in a Durham 
boat with a fine breese, and lodge at St. Regis. From Montreal to St. 
Regis is called 70 miles. A cloudless and pleasant day in all respects, 
wind N.E. 

May 24th. Remain at St. Regis until afternoon: find here Dr. 
Tiarks, astronomer of the Board under the 5th, who had spent much 
of the Winter making observations at this place. This being a holiday 
of the Catholic Church, of great celebration, the lower classes mostly 
from the neighbouring country as far as 30 miles around flock to the 
village. In the afternoon Col Hawkins & myself proceed with our 
barge, having employed two hands, Louis Gray and Ira Strong, as 
boat-men. Above Cornwall quit the barge for the purpose of greater 

1 La Prairie. 

2 Vaudreuil, from Cavagnal, Pierre Francois de Rigaud, Marquis de Vaudreuil, 
a native of Quebec, who became Governor of Canada in 1 755 and capitulated to the 
English in 1760, after Wolfe's victory over Montcalm. 


expedition, hire a wagon and ride to Stoneburner's at the Long Sault 
to lodge. Weather clear and temperature mild & pleasant, wind S.W. 

May 25th. Proceed to the ferry at the head of the Rapide Plat, 
where we hire a canoe to carry us to the camp, which we found on the 
American shore about 6 miles above Hamilton. The British camp 
opposite on a small island called Tousaint's 1 Island. Genl. Porter had 
not yet reached the camp. The surveyors and other parties all present: 
this day cloudless and temperature mild and pleasant: wind S.W. 
Take lodgings at Dillabogh's. 

May 26. Remain opposite the camp at a farmer's house, by name 
Dillabogh, not having been able to procure any accommodations on 
our own shore. Took possession of our quarters here yesterday and have 
them now arranged tolerably comfortable. The day clear and tempera- 
ture mild until evening when heavy clouds arise from the N. & W. 
Visit the British camp on Tousaint's Island opposite Dillabogh's house, 
and only see Mr. Sewell, the rest on duty. 

May 27th. Cloudless and warm morning, continues very pleasant 
thro the day. At noon cross to the camp in the barge. Dine with Majr. 
F. and party and with him and Mr. Darby 2 visit Hamilton, now called 
W r addington. See there D.A. 3 & Gouver. Ogden & families. Mr. Darby 
ridicules the minuteness of the mode of survey, and insists upon his 
ability to perform much more work in a shorter period with sufficient 
accuracy, by the mode he recommends which is to measure right lines, 
lines on the shores and by offsets obtain the course and shape of the 
river, commonly called surveying by offsets. Mr. Adams and Mr. 
Darby have an unfortunate difference of opinion on this and other 
subjects of more consequence. Return from Waddington in the eve- 
ning: is 7 miles from the camp. Point Iroquois \}4 miles below camp: is 
not in my opinion eligible as a military position. The ground gradually 
rises from the shore for a quarter of a mile to the rear and is commanded 
by the corresponding point in Canada so that works erected on Point 
Iroquois would from their necessary inclination to the shore (without 
a prodigious expenditure to prevent it) present an extensive and sure 
face to the batteries of the enemy. Point Bluff, 12 miles below Wadding- 
ton, is a far preferable position but I consider it a mistaken idea to 
pretend the defence of a river frontier of 200 miles by any one or more 
batteries in any positions whatever an idle and extravagant project. 

Wind S.W. in the afternoon, fresh. Col. Ogilvy and Mr. Hale visit 
us at Dillabogh's. 

1 Toussaint. 

8 William Darby, born in Pennsylvania in 1775, a geographer, served as an officer 
under Andrew Jackson, a surveyor on the boundary and the author of several books. 
3 D. A., not identified but probably David A. Ogden. 


May 28th. Morning cloudy, wind S.W., temperature moderate. 
Continues pleasant most of the day. Engage Terah Poor as a boatman. 
Spend the morning shooting wild pigeons 1 which have just made their 
appearance. A few years back the pigeons generally appeared in this 
part of the country early in April, and were depended upon in a meas- 
ure for subsistence. Dine with Col. Ogilvy in camp, Mr. Hale, Sewell, 
Stevenson, Adams, the additional Asst. surveyor and Gray the draughts- 
man. Mr. Sewell & myself have a confidential & mutual exposition of 
each other's opinions concerning the wish of both Commissioners to 
adjourn the Board early in the summer for the rest of the season. He 
assures me of Col. Ogilvy's willingness to accede to such a proposition 
and we agree to advance such a measure on the ground of principle, 
in the mode of transacting the work, as well as of economy in its execu- 
tion. The presence of the Commissioners and secretaries entirely useless 
on the line and the instructions which might be given to the surveyors 
being more in accordance with the business of the Commissions. 

May 29th. Cloudy morning, high wind from the N.W.: pleasant, 
temperature, cooler than yesterday afternoon: wind W., fresh. Evening 
heavy clouds from the N. and some rain. 

Musquitoes terribly thick and annoying. 

May 30th. Clear and pleasant. Genl. Porter arrives at camp, 
having been detained by an accident to the steam boat. Cross Lake 
Ontario to Sacket's Harbor in the Lady of the Lake and from thence 
to camp in a small row boat: collect several flowers in the woods for 
preservation, and remark the most of the rocks on the surface for a 
distance around this neighborhood to be full of holes from the attri- 
tion of the waters, denoting their having been at some time in the bed 
of the river or of such an age as to have undergone nearly a decompo- 
sition. The same is remarkable on Tousaint's Island. 

May 31. Cloudy and some rain, wind N.E. Dine with Col. Ogilvy 
and party at y 2 past five p.m. Leave our quarters at Dillabogh's for 
St. Regis: run in the evening by 10 o'clock to Stoneburner's at the head 
of the Long Sault being 28 miles. 

June 1 . Steady rain, wind E. Proceed through the Long Sault on 
the North channel with boat thro Moulenetea 2 or Millimalie: arrive 
at St. Regis about 10 a.m. Genl. Porter, Col. Ogilvy, Hale and party 
arrive at the same time, having left their camps about 50 miles up the 
river at 4 o'clock this morning. Find Mr. Adams and Mr. Thompson 
encamped above the village. Col. Hawkins goes to French Mills. 

June 2d. Cloudy in the morning, at noon sultry wind. Visit Mr. 

1 Passenger pigeons, at that time migrating in great flocks. 

2 Moulinette. 


Adams' camp. Col. Ogilvy, Hale & Sewell cross from Colquhoun's 
to St. Regis. 

Mr. Gray, the draftsman, relates some curious anecdotes to me of the 
ignorance of his countrymen concerning the geography of this coun- 
try. Among others it is well known that vessels of war were built in 
Portsmouth, England, for the lake service in America. He says he was 
convoyed out by a vessel built expressly for the lakes and that she 
was fitted up with the new patent machines for converting salt water 
to fresh! Mr. Garrard of Montreal told me that the timber for the 32 
gun frigate on Lake Ontario was sent from England, and that he knew 
from his own marks upon it that some of the timber was the very same 
that he had ship'd to England from the Canadas, and that it cost to 
transport it simply from Montreal to Kingston jf 10.000. In the after- 
noon Commissioners Van Ness 1 & Barclay, Agents Bradley 2 and Chip- 
man Junr. arrive at St. Regis from Burlington via Montreal. They 
form the Board under the 5th Article of the Treaty. 

June 3d. Clear & pleasant morning, warm wind, S.W. Remain at 
St. Regis. The garden seeds in this village just begin to shew their 
sprouts above ground. 

June 4th. Morning clear and warm, noon cloudy, wind E., after- 
noon S.W. Both Boards and attendants dine with Col. Ogilvy at 
Colquhoun's below Cornwall. 

A fly lesser than the eel fly found covering the water, fences, houses 
&c, quere if it does not become the eel fly? The cantharides 3 found 
about this neighborhood. At night heavy rain. 

June 5th. Cloudy but no rain. Wind S.W.: temperature moderate, 
rather warm. At noon astronomers succeed in observing the sun. The 
rest of the day and night cloudy. The Indian for St. Regis is Agwesasne. 

June 6th. Atmosphere thick, wind S.W. The Board under the 5th 
holds a meeting at the Priest's house. 

The Board under the 6th & 7th at Anderson's tavern. The former 
adjourn over sine die on account of the absence of their astronomer 
(Mr. Hassler) who is detained by sickness in the Chateaugay 4 W T oods. 
They having determined to depend exclusively upon the observations 
of Mr. Hassler and Dr. Tiarks (the astronomer of their Board) for the 

1 Cornelius Peter Van Ness, born Kinderhook, New York in 1782. Became a lawyer 
and settled at Burlington, Vermont. Commissioner under the Treaty of Ghent, 
181 7-2 1. Chief Justice and later Governor of Vermont etc. 

2 William Czar Bradley, born at Westminster, Vermont Mar. 23, 1 783 and died 
there in 1867. Agent for the United States under the Fifth Article of the Treaty of 

3 Cantharidae, a species of Spanish or blistering fly. 

4 Chateauguay. 


45th parallel of latitude. Our astronomers calculate the 45th to be 
very nearly % of a mile South of the point fixed upon by Mr. Ellicott 
and Dr. Tiarks who agree within a trifle. Mr. Ellicott's observations 
are not admitted by the Board under the 5th Art., he not being recog- 
nized as an officer of either Commission. This Board intends proceed- 
ing from this point West, establishing the latitude and erecting monu- 
ments every 15 miles, leaving the survey until this duty is performed 
by their astronomers. 

The Board under the 6th and 7th Art. adjourn to their camp above 
Hamilton: the other Board not being prepared to establish the Lat. 
of 45 on acct. of sickness of their astronomer. In the afternoon Col. 
Hawkins goes to French Mills. Evening distant thunder storm in the 
North: at St. Regis heavy gusts of wind from S.W. 

The Board under the 5th was not willing to act in concert with our 
Board upon this point of latitude, considering I believe, that we had 
nothing to do with it. Perhaps their greater and reasonable confidence 
in their astronomers had its influence. 

June 7th. Cloudy and sultry morning. Genl. Porter & Col. Ogilvy 
& Sees, accompanied by Mr. Van Ness, Col. Barclay and Mr. Chip- 
man leave St. Regis for our camp above Hamilton, crossing to Col- 
quhoun's: take waggons & send on the boat. Col. Hawkins & Lady 
return from French Mills in the afternoon and a batteaux arrives with 
the son of Mr. Bouchette 1 and his assistant surveyor and five laborers. 
Mr. Bradley and myself pass the day together at St. Regis. 

June 8th. Steady rain, wind N.E. Mr. Bradley and myself spend 
the day together and have much interesting conversation upon the 
various topics of both policy and difficulty that at present agitate both 
Commissions. Those of the 5th of a public nature and managed with 
great adroitness by Mr. Bradley; those of the 6th most unfortunately 
are personal, 2 but necessarily have and must continue to affect the 
public good, if not speedily adjusted. Mr. Van Ness and Mr. Bradley 
exert themselves to bring about the desired reconciliation between 
Genl. Porter & Col. Hawkins. Mr. Bradley & myself have a full 
understanding of the course he intended to pursue in establishing the 
latitude at this point, and also the line across the highlands where two 
millions of acres are in question. It singularly happens that his argue- 

1 Joseph Bouchette, a Canadian topographer born in 1774. In 1814 he became 
Surveyor General of British North America. 

8 Refers to an unfortunate controversy between General Porter and Colonel Hawkins 
regarding their respective duties. Ultimately it was agreed that both should absent 
themselves and that Major Delafield, assisted by Major Fraser, should take full charge 
of the expedition (Delafield's Diary, p. 7. This was in July, 1818. "From this time," 
says the Diary, "all the duties of the Agency devolved upon me."). 


ments for that section of the line overturn the grounds he must assume 
to establish this section, if he insists upon the 45th being calculated 
upon the principle of the earth being an oblate spheroid upon which 
calculation we gain 14 miles North. He makes a good arguement, how- 
ever, with a different set of reasons. Storm continues through the day 
& night. 

June 9th. Cloudy and damp, sultry atmosphere: Visit the astrono- 
mers' camp. Col. Hawkins & Lady & myself depart from St. Regis 
in the afternoon and arrive at Cornwall to lodge. Stop at Chesley's 
tavern, a pretty good house. 

June 10th. Am detained at Cornwall by the ill health of Col. 
Hawkins, who is visited by Dr. Dickinson. His complaint billious. My 
own prescription not having entirely relieved him, which was a strong 
cathartic, Dr. Dickinson directs an emetic. 

Mr. Van Ness, Col. Barclay & Mr. Chipman 1 breakfast in Cornwall 
on their return from our camp above. Conference with Mr. Van Ness 
on the mediation he had undertaken between Gen'l. P. B. Porter and 
Col. Hawkins. He assures me of Gen'l Porter's assent to have a full 
and frank conversation when they meet. Suggests that Col. Ogilvy 
keeps up the excitement, and gires me the first direct intimation I had 
heard of Mr. Ogilvy's not being entirely satisfied with the appoint- 
ment of his Agent. He would rather have had no Agent: and rather 
Mr. Sewell to Col. Hale. Acquaint Col. Hawkins of the above in toto. 
He assures me of his willingness & intention to say to Genl. Porter 
that he is prepared to adopt his plans & purposes for the execution of 
the Agency, &c. I recommend his avowing himself the Agent of the 
Commissioner as well as of the Board, and state my conviction of its 
being determined at headquarters to adopt the views of Genl. Porter 
as their confidential officer. His influence as predominating, & the ab- 
solute necessity of a change in the existing relationship: or consequent 
retirement of the one or the other. Mr. Woods' attention & politeness 
at Cornwall. The day clear, warm and pleasant. Wind S.W. 

June nth. Clear and pleasant, wind N.W. Leave Cornwall after 
breakfast and proceed in the barge to Ault's to lodge, Col. Hawkins' 
health preventing a longer route for the day. Is a poor tavern. 

June 1 2th. Clear and pleasant, high winds from the S.W. Leave 
Ault's 2 early and breakfast at Monroe's, a cleaner tavern than most on 
this road: is a half mile above Chuyetter's house. Reach Dillabogh's in 
the afternoon where we leave Mrs. Hawkins & Thomas. The Col. 

1 Ward Chipman, born in Massachusetts in 1 754. An official of the government of 
New Brunswick and employed in 181 6 by the British Commission under the Fifth 
Article of the Treaty of Ghent. He died in New Brunswick in 1824. 

2 Now Aultsville. 


&. myself proceed with the barge to find Genl. Porter's camp, he 
having moved the day before from this neighborhood. Proceed til 
about 9 at night, when the men being much exhausted by the labor of 
ascending the current, we seek lodgings and are accommodated at a 
farmer's house by name Nettleton on the Canada shore at the head of 
what are commonly called the Galloo 1 Islands. Musquitoes very an- 

June 13th. Clear and cool, high wind from the N.E. Early in the 
morning proceed up the river and find Genl. Porter's camp, a mile & 
a half above our lodgings for the night, on a small but beautiful island, 
opposite Briggs on our side. This island infected with innumerable 
quantities of flies & vermin which lie in the shade of the trees nearly 
an inch thick on the ground and are most offensive to the smell, so 
much so that we are obliged to sleep to the windward of the island, and 
resolve to move the camp. In the afternoon visit Ogdensburgh: return 
and lodge in the camp. At night, rain. 

June 14th. Rain, wind N.E. Genl. Porter moves his camp to an 
island lying about one mile to the West called Drummond's Island, a 
most beautiful spot, not surpassed in any particular by the most im- 
proved and costly grounds that both art and nature have contrived. 
It appears to have been many years ago entirely cleared, and at pres- 
ent is most delightfully covered with groups of bass wood trees, and a 
close firm sod without a bush to be seen. Remains of old fortifications 
are to be seen on its upper extremity, built by the French to protect 
them from the natives. Afternoon clear and pleasant, wind S. 

June 15. Heavy clouds throughout the day from the N.W., thun- 
der showers and rain and hail. Col. Hawkins and Lady arrive at Genl. 
Porter's camp from Dillaboghs and cross to Johnstown, to lodge til the 
camp is prepared. A miserable tavern at Johnstown, the place going 
to decay. 

June 16. Clear and pleasant, wind S.W 7 ., high. Pitch the Marquee 
on Drummond's Island. Col. Hawkins & Lady come to the camp to re- 
main. Dine with Mr. G. Parish. 

June 17. Cloudy, wind W., afternoon storm of rain. Theomr. at 
4 o'clock p.m. 58 , wind W.S.W. The Board sits in Col. Ogilvy's camp 
on the island west of us. Clears off before sunset, with the wind as before. 

June 18. Clear, wind W., mercury at noon 71 , at sunset Theomr. 
64 . Remain on the island. 

June 19th. Clear and very pleasant, wind W.S.W. Genl. Porter and 
Col. Ogilvy leave camp for St. Regis at 2 o'clock in the morning in 

Galop Islands. 


Col. Ogilvy's bark canoe. Thermometer at 4 o'clock p.m. 76 , night 
so cool as to require a pair of thick blankets. 

June 20th. Clear and pleasant day. Wind W.S.W., in the afternoon 
high. Thermometer at 2 p.m. 74 . Visit an island about one mile below 
the camp, among the group called the Galloo's, and opposite the 
first rapid on the Canada side, which is surrounded with the remains of 
former fortifications. A parapet and ditch are continued mostly around 
the island and are still in tolerably good order. They were doubtless 
built by the French and evidently for the purpose of defence against 
an attack from the upper country, the head of this as well as other 
islands being principally fortified. Chimney Island South of us, and 
its corresponding point on the American shore, were occupied as 
military positions, as apparent from the ruins of barracks and lines of 
defence (See June 22d.). 

Genl. Porter returns from St. Regis. Found there Mr. Hasler the 
astronomer of the 5th Art. Board. He asserted that the tables used by 
Mr. Adams & Mr. Thompson were erroneous, and gave them the cor- 
rections, which obliges these gentlemen to compute again their ob- 
servations. The great delay at that point, and in truth the whole 
business of astronomical observation there, on the part of our Board, 
I deem both inexpedient and unnecessary. It is sufficient to have a 
starting point of common certainty. We are to commence in the middle 
of the river & a mile above or below is of no consequence, there being 
no adjudications. The 5th Board have the same latitude to run for a 
long distance and the point fixed by them must necessarily be our 
starting point. So that 3 days instead of 3 months would have been all 
that was requisite for any reasonable purpose of our Board, so far as 
I can foresee. Cool night. 

June 21. Hazy atmosphere, wind S.W.: Receive from H & W.D. 1 
a Post Note for 900 dlls. in favor of Col. Hawkins and deliver same to 

June 22. Clear and very warm. Thermometer at 2 o'clock 89^°, a 
degree of heat seldom known here. Perfectly calm throughout the day, 
wind so far as perceptible from the S.W. Remain on Drummond's 
Island. The tradition among the neighboring people concerning the 
fortifications around us, is that the works on Drummond's Island and 
on the islands below & the work at Indian Village or Chimney Point, 
were thrown up and occupied by the British, who had driven the 
French into their strong hold on Chimney Island as commonly called. 
After a long siege and much battering the French are said to have 

1 Henry and William Delafield, the twins, younger brothers of Major Joseph Dela- 
field, and successful shipping merchants in New York. 



made their escape in the night. The work on Chimney Island appears 
to have been strong, the parapet eight feet high, with a broad ditch 
and mounted probably 20 guns. Seven Chimneys are still standing and 
some of them in good order and well built. From the parapet may be 
dug cannon and musket balls. Blacksmith, and other implements have 
been found within a few years, denoting the sudden departure of its 

June 23. Clear and warm, wind S.W., thermometer at noon 77 . 
About 40 batteaux filled with British troops pass our encampment 
early in the morning from the upper posts. 

June 24. Clear in the morning, wind VV.S.VV., thermometer at 
noon 72 . Col. Ogilvy, Mr. Hale and Mr. Sewell dine with Genl. 
Porter in camp. Rain in the afternoon. 

June 25. Cloudy in the morning, wind N.E. Clears off at noon, 
sultry. Thermometer at 8o°. 

Discharge Ira Strong a boatman. 

26th. Clear and pleasant for most of the day, wind S.W. Mr. 
Wybault, Mr. Gray, and Mr. Bohen visit us in camp. Col. Ogilvy, 
Col. Hale and Mr. Sewell with the gendemen of our party dine with 
Col. Hawkins under the shade of the trees by his Marquee. In the 
afternoon Mr. Adams and Mr. Thompson arrive from St. Regis. Mr. 
Adams same afternoon establishes a meridian line from a base on Chim- 
ney Point. 

[Salaries and Expenses.] 

Comr 4444 

Agent 4444 

Asst Secy 2200 

Agents Secy 1 000 

Astronomer 2000 

Asst Surveyer 1 1 1 1 

do do 1000 

Draftsman 600 

2 Chain-bearers 360 

1 o boatmen 960 

Steward 500 

Cooks 96 

Agents boatman 298 

Agents Steward 96 

Subsistence for the Comrs party 

do for Agents party 
Travelling expenses of all 


1 500 



2 1 ,609 


Reed of Col H. on the Hudson ioo. 

May 20th ioo. 

" 22nd 50. 


balanced 257. 

May 31 on going to St. Regis 10. 

June 10th at St. Regis 5. 

1 1 th at Stoneburners 4. 

1 3 going to Ogdensburgh 5. 

Expenses from NYork 

18 Pd Steam boat fare to Albany 28.50 

1 9 Pd Skinner's at Albany 8.50 

25th Wagon hire from Cornwall to Mattilda 11. 

" Canoe from Matilda to Camp 3. 

June 7th Thompson for pr of oars 1 . 

8th Expenses boatmen, at French mills 5. 

" Mrs. Gray for washing 3.50 

9th Andersons Tavern Bill 32.30 

1 1 th Chesleys at Cornwall for party 10.20 

" Hooples for tow line 1 .25 

" ferriage to Cahounes for Thomas .50 

" Dinners at Stoneburners for party 3.50 

" Wagon hire from Long Sault to Aults 1 .20 

Supper & lodging at Aults 2.03 

1 2th 9>£ Pork for men 1 .90 

" Breakfasts at Monroes 1.25 

" Luncheons .75 

Suppers & lodgings 1 . 

Louis Gray .70 

Portage for Col .37 

advances to Dillabogh 10. 


June 27, 1818 to September 23, 1818 

June 27, 1 81 8. Camp on Drummond's Island, St. Lawrence River 
Early in the morning thick heavy mist which is blown off by a strong 
S.W. wind. Yesterday Genl. Porter made known to me his desire to 
leave the line for the rest of the season, and wished to know Col. 
Hawkins* views as to the propriety of his, Col. Hawkins', absence also. 
It being a new suggestion entirely, agreed to intimate to Col. Hawkins 
the proposition of Gen'l. Porter, which I did the same day. In the eve- 
ning we had a full discussion of the subject, which gave me by its results 
but little hope of effecting that concert & harmony in the plans of the 
two gentlemen, which can alone continue the Commission in its true 
objects. Col. Hawkins had fearful suspicions that such arrangement was 
proposed for the purpose of nullifying the duties of his office & that, if he 
acceded to it, he would be deserted by his true friends for having made 
a willing sacrifice of the offices he should perform. He also expressed 
other fears, that the Commissioner hoped by this plan to rid himself at 
the expense of the Agent, from the awkward dilemma he was placed in, 
by the report of last winter's committee of investigation: that by leaving 
his secretary he would make it appear that he was a useful officer; and 
that by leaving me it would appear that the Agent's duties did not re- 
quire the attention of both of us. Our conversation was at length & full. 
Thro it all, the suspicion of design, seemed to keep nothing but the black 
side of the subject in the mind of Col. Hawkins. I object strongly to his 
views of the Genl.'s intentions, believing them to be honorable and 
well meant. Explain how, by acceding to the proposition, the conse- 
quence of his office is enhanced, and he admitted to a performance 
of some duties which hitherto he had not been in any way connected 
with: that I thought Gen'l Porter's proposition conciliatory: that his 
leaving me and Fraser alternately with the party was an admission of 
his right to superintend the survey, for I could not be considered as 
any other way attached than as his representative: that Gen'l Porter's 
requiring his occasional visits also to the camp was decisively acknowl- 
edging a duty of the Agent, which had been far from having been 
thought appendant to his appointment heretofore by Genl Porter. 
This morning we travel over the same grounds as yesterday, and con- 


elude that I intimate to the Genl. that I had apprized Col. Hawkins of 
the plan he had proposed. 

This morning I told Genl Porter at the request of Col. Hawkins that 
I had intimated to him the suggestions he yesterday made to me, con- 
cerning the absence of both of them from the line: that from what 
conversation had passed between us, I could say that Col. Hawkins 
was perfectly willing to comply with, and adopt such instructions as he 
should think fit to direct as Col. Hawkins had already assured him as I 
understood. Genl. Porter appeared gratified, and replied that much 
money might thus be saved, and that occasional visits by Col. Hawkins 
would answer every purpose. I then stated that if such visits were di- 
rected by the instructions it would comply with the wishes of Col. 
Hawkins and reconcile some of the difficulties that existed arising from 
the views Col. Hawkins had express'd of his duties to the government, 
by which he could not perhaps be entirely justified in adopting a 
change without such directions. Genl. Porter appeared also to assent 
to this, and concluded by saying he would have a conversation with 
the Col. in the course of the day. Acquaint Col. Hawkins with what 
had transpired between the Genl. & myself. 

June 28. Cloudy in the morning, at noon clear and high wind 
from W.S.W. Cross from Drummond's Island to Mr. Conant's and 
return with him to dine in camp. Genl. Porter & Col. Ogilvy go in 
search of a proper place for the next encampment. 

Judge Ogden 1 visits the camp on his return from Buffalo. Mr. Adams 
communicates to me, most fully and frankly, the result of his observa- 
tions while at St. Regis. Some circumstances which transpired between 
him and Mr. Thompson give just occasion to suspect the purity of his, 
Mr. Thompson's, motives. An attempt at intrigue on the part of Mr. 
Thompson which I think he would not have dared to attempt without 
the instructions of Col. Ogilvy, could not be concealed from Mr. 
Adams. Station of Mr. Adams: departure sudden prevented. Confidence 
and council between Adams & Ogilvy; exclusion of Thompson must 
have been a contrivance previously concerted. Thompson's uncertainty 
as to the point he would assume. Great anxiety about the mouth 
of the Racket. 2 Giving a West line which he volunteered to cut for 
Mr. Adams an inclination to the South. Ogilvy's request of Adams 
to communicate confidentially with C. 3 of the 5th the most bold and 

1 Probably Thomas Ludlow Ogden. 

2 The meaning of this paragraph is not at once apparent. It apparently refers to a 
controversy which in the end led to Adams' resignation as appears later in the Diary. 

3 Committee of the 5th refers to a member of the Commission under the 5th Article 
of the Treaty of Ghent. 


impudent attempt at corruption. Rebuke too mild. His hurry for the 
report at this moment corroborative. Advise Mr. Adams to improve 
the first occasion to have as full and similar conversation with Gen'l Por- 
ter: urge it forthwith. Suggest some cautions to Mr. Adams about his re- 
port. The sun and six stars were used by Mr. Adams & Thompson. The 
observations were very exact and fortunate giving in every instance 
uniform results, i.e. each object gave the like result each time altho 
the several objects varied in their results. Mr. Adams assures me he 
made every observation that was accepted: that Mr. Thompson made 
but one, which one was rejected. Upon reflection I think there was 
more love of mystery in Mr. Adams than want of good faith in Mr. 
Ogilvy. Neither Adams or Thompson were skilled in the use of the 
circle & their observations at St. Regis of little use. 

June 29. Clear, wind N.E. until night, temperature moderate. In 
the afternoon Col. Hawkins and Lady leave the camp for Mr. Sher- 
wood's near Brockville. Strike the Marquee and make preparations 
for moving. Gen'l Porter sends off a batteaux load of his heaviest 
baggage. Judge Atwater and a Mr. Perkins visit us in the evening. 
The Judge confers with me in relation to the affairs of his friend Haw- 
kins with the Commissioner. He also had a conversation with Porter 
upon this and the last winter's affair at Washington. The Judge inquires 
of me whether his name was mentioned during the investigation of the 
island speculation, recollecting that he and Col. Hawkins had frequent 
conversations upon the subject in my presence, and that thro him we 
had learned some suspicions. I assure him it was not, and acquaint 
him that I avoided it by limiting with Genl. Porter the interrogatories 
he was to put to me, so as not to oblige me to name persons who were 
without the reach of the committee and thus leave the matter in the 
dark. The Judge did not seem surprised when I told him the Genl. 
had never inquired of me what information or rather what persons 
absent had conversed with me about this transaction and added that 
when he conversed with the Genl. upon this subject this evening, the 
Genl. did not look him in the face altho he (Atwater) steadfastly fixed 
his eyes upon him. The Judge said nothing more explicit, but left upon 
my mind an impression I much regret, and one I cannot give credit 
to, but with great reluctance and uncertainty. 

In truth I do not doubt the purity of General Porter's conduct in 
this matter, although it was attempted to impress me to the contrary. 

June 30th. High wind from the S.W., some thunder and rain about 
sun rise. Genl. Porter moves his camp above Brockville. Blows thro 
the day a heavy gale from the S.W., so strong that I am prevented 
moving our establishment up the river. Remain on Drummond's 
Island alone, excepting Thomas & 2 boatmen. The river rises more 


than one foot this day, which is occasioned by the gale from the lake. 
In the afternoon cross to the Canada shore and engage a batteaux & 
crew of a Mr. Tucker to transport our camp equipage in the morning 
up the river. 

July i. Fair and pleasant, wind moderate from the N.E. Mr. 
Tucker with his batteaux arrives shortly after sunrise, which is loaded, 
our tents struck, and all underway by 6 o'clock. Take Thomas & pro- 
ceed in the barge with some baggage. Take in Col. Hawkins at Brock- 
ville, and proceed to reconnoitre for our encamping ground, and fix 
upon an island at the head of the group first above Brockville, & 
about 5 miles from thence. Genl. Porter's camp a little below on the 
American maine and Col. Ogilvy's opposite on the British shore. 
Pitch the Marquee and have the camp in readiness by 3 o'clock in the 
afternoon, having proceeded up the river since 6 o'clock about five and 
twenty miles. In the afternoon Mr. Adams discovers us on our island, 
with whom we visit the party on the maine, & return in the evening, 
much pleased with our advantage in choice of position for the camp. 
Brockville is a pretty little village, and has the appearance of a growing 
place. The most of the houses have a genteel appearance. Its Court 
House and Church are respectable buildings. It is the only town on the 
river, on that side, which has any communication with the interior. 
The Ridant 1 River and Lake lie about 30 miles to the rear & are settled. 
Much lumber comes to this place, and the few ware houses on the 
river show the bustle of business. The harbor is good. Col. Hawkins 
procures quarters for Mrs. Hawkins at a Capt. Hall's in Brockville 
where she remains. 

July 2. Clear and pleasant until afternoon, when it is overcast, with 
clouds but no rain, wind N.E. Several top sail schooners pass our island 
going up from Ogdensburgh, Prescott & Brockville, the two former are 
at the foot of the navigation as used, altho 5 miles lower down, i.e. to 
the Galop Islands, it is equally good. Mr. Tibbits, 2 of Troy, made one 
of the first purchases in this country & chose this spot, it being the most 
eligible & the foot of the navigable water for heavy vessels. It was never 
improved & Ogdensburgh took the lead. The Canada shore from Pres- 
cott to this island (20 miles) is well cultivated, and there are many 
large, well built stone & wood houses, indicating wealth. On our side, 
there are but few clearings, for the same distance, excepting a small 
establishment at Morristown, opposite Brockville. Above that, the 
forests are almost impenetrable. 

July 3. Clear and warm, wind N.E. Take an abundance of fish 

1 Rideau. 

2 George Tibbits, of Troy, born in Warwick, R. I. in 1763. Member of Congress, 
the State Senate, etc. 


among these islands, bass, perch and a white fish called chubs the most 
plenty. The muskilonge are also taken here. Loose our bunch of fish, 
which had been strung on a strong stick and left in the water overnight 
and discover that the stick had been bit in two places by minks, and the 
fish concealed in the crevices of rocks. Catch a mink. It is a black 
animal about 1 foot in length, its head somewhat like a rat's. Is 
amphibious. Has flat broad paws with many claws: so offensive to 
the smell that it was thrown away previous to examination. Deer 
abound on the American shore. Porcupines are found, and a dead 
otter on a neighboring island. The British steam boat Charlotte from 
Kingston passes down to Prescott in the afternoon. Gen'l Porter visits 
us. Col. Hawkins opens the subject of the contemplated arrangement of 
leaving the Line with him. Gen'l Porter acknowledges his embarras- 
ments concerning the Agent. Says he will visit Washington, and gladly 
adopt any suggestions that the Executive or Secy, of State would 
intimate relative to Agent's duties, and if they would suggest anything 
at Washington he would then make it a point to insist upon its execu- 
tion with Col. Ogilvy. Col. Hawkins tells him that he is afraid the 
contemplated arrangement is all wrong; that he thinks it is wrong. 
Genl. Porter appoints tomorrow for a further conversation after seeing 
again Col. Ogilvy. Col. Hawkins communicates the above to me. 

July 4th. Warm sultry day, wind S.W. The Board sits in Gen'l 
Porter's camp at 6 in the morning. The Agents attend for the first time 
at the request of the Commissioners. The Agents are advised with 
concerning the propriety of increasing the salary of Messrs. Bird & 
Stevenson, a proposition made by Mr. Ogilvy. The Commissioners and 
Agents agree to leave the Line. Gen'l Porter declines giving instructions 
to Col. Hawkins to that purpose, but solicits that he would do so. 
A friendly agreement takes place. Majr. Fraser and myself alternately 
to take charge of our camp. Col. Ogilvy will visit his camp every fort- 
night. The British steam boat Charlotte passes up the river early in 
the morning & the American boat Ontario passes down and returns 
at 5 in the afternoon. Gen'l Porter and party take wine with us, until 
the boat passes, when he gets on board for Niagara, previous to his 
visit south, where he intends renouncing his bachelorship. In the eve- 
ning we indulge in mirth and wine in celebration of the day. Col. 
Hawkins goes to Brockville. 

The afternoon exceedingly warm and calm. Hear the reports of 
heavy cannon, supposed to be from Sacket's Harbor. 

July 5. Hazy weather, temperature moderate, wind fresh from 
S.W. & E. Col. Ogilvy moves his camp, in order to be more central in 
his section of survey. Remain with Terah only on our rock island thro 
the day. Col. Hawkins returns from Brockville. 


July 6. Clear and calm and exceedingly warm on this rock. Cross 
to our party on the main and pass the morning. Immediately before 
their camp lie large strata of rocks formed of pebbles. The shore is 
covered with what is usually called shingles. When formed into con- 
cretions however they adhere to the lime stone strata in a tolerably 
firm manner making a regular pudding stone. The shores still show 
some lime stone; but the islands are in this group entirely granite of 
the reddish hue. Below they were mostly lime stone. In this group 
(which are, by the by, merely rocks, with hardly sufficient soil to drive 
a tent pin) the granite rocks are rent in fissures leaving in many in- 
stances crevices 3 & 4 inches wide. In some those fissures are filled with 
pure transparent white quartz, giving a singular appearance to the 
mass. On some of them are also seen rocks of pure white quartz of 
large dimensions. The water is within 10 feet of many of the islands 
30 ft. deep; and the river very uneven at bottom. Shallows may be 
seen in its widest expanse & then again very deep water. There is some 
marble about the other camp. The prevailing stone however is strata 
of sand stone upon beds of quartz pebbles, rounded by the attrition of 

July 7. Steady storm of light rain, wind from N.E., Tempe. mod- 

July gth. Clear and pleasant, strong wind from S.W. Col. Hawkins 
goes to Brockville, I to the camp on the maine where I stay til after- 
noon. The draughtsman detects several serious errors in Mr. Darby's 
section of survey about the Gallop Islands. Mr. Adams in great 
trouble, the maps having been exchanged with the British as given in 
by Mr. Darby and his own plot and calculations having been copied 
by the draftsman. Mr. Adams concludes to resurvey the work himself, 
and not to make unfavorable report of Mr. Darby until he has heard 
his account of the business. Advise his ordering a report of Mr. Darby's 
subsequent work, in order to see how that may be executed, and urge 
the propriety of his divesting himself, on his interview with Mr. Darby, 
of every other feeling than that of a desire to set the work right if 
practicable: at all events on a cool statement, first to obtain Mr. D's 
views of the matter. 

Return to the Marquee on Isle du Camp, where Mr. Adams, Majr. 
Fraser & Gedney 1 sup & spend the evening with me. 

July 10th. Morning clear, calm and warm, noon wind rises from 
N.N.E., pleasant. Mr. Darby returns from his section of survey to the 
camp. Is informed of the errors in his former work. Has an interview 

1 Lieut. Thomas R. Gedney, U.S.N, who was attached to Coast Survey for many 


with Mr. Adams, by whom he is ordered to resurvey the work. Mr. 
Darby refuses to do so, having been first told by Mr. Adams that Mr. 
Bird should resurvey his work. Mr. Darby leaves Mr. Adams after 
considerable passionate dialogue. Mr. Adams proceeds to complete 
his delineations below and sends Mr. Bird to resurvey the last work of 
Mr. Darby. Majr. Fraser, myself & Mr. Darby go down the river in 
search of Mr. Adams, Mr. Darby having consented to take instructions 
from Mr. Adams, to acknowledge the errors in his work, and his pas- 
sion on his interview with Mr. Adams. During the time of our passage 
to Ogdensburgh, Mr. Darby shows unpardonable inconsistency, at 
one moment swearing vengeance, and that he would no longer work 
under Mr. Adams, at another, that he would correct his work, and then 
depart: then, that he would remain until superceded, and finally he 
agreed that he would make acknowledgements to Mr. Adams and con- 
tinue with the Commission as long as he could. The latter appeared to 
be his opinion & wish when in his most deliberative mood. Mr. Darby 
unfortunately indulges too freely with his glass, on which occasions he 
is rudely assuming in his pretensions, and unreasonable. We reach 
Ogdensburgh about 4 o'clock p.m., not having fallen in with Mr. 
Adams. Take our lodgings at Wright's. Spend the evening with Mr. 
Bohen. Mr. Darby mortifies us extremely by getting drunk and evinc- 
ing the blackguard. The steam boat passengers pass on without stop- 
ping, much dissappointing me in not affording an opportunity to see 
Mrs. Gore &c. 

July nth. At Ogdensburgh: clear and very warm, wind S.W. Mr. 
Darby leaves us after breakfast to find Mr. Adams; is absent about 3 
hours and returns saying that he had had a friendly & frank interview 
with Mr. Adams and that all things were now right & that he now 
expected to get along with Mr. Adams better than he had ever done 
heretofore. Spoke in handsome terms of Mr. Adams and told Majr. 
Fraser & myself that Mr. Adams & he had agreed and that he would 
at once undertake a resurvey of his erroneous work. The errors in his 
work are extreme, and not readily accounted for. Previous to our 
search for Mr. Adams, to come to some definite understanding upon 
the subject, I took the precaution to reduce to writing the results of the 
investigation of Mr. Darby's work by himself & Richd. Delafield & 
signed by each of them, by which it appears that in some instances 
angles were found in his report to the draftsman which were not in his 
original field notes, and in others his angles reported wrong were found 
correct in his original notes. Majr. Fraser reports all that had trans- 
pired to Gen'l Porter by letter; and most scrupulously gave Mr. Darby 
every chance for exculpation possible. We both exert ourselves to 
reconcile the difficulties, by keeping the parties confined to the public 


interest alone. Mr. Darby express'd great willingness to abide by my 
advice and altho willing, as he said, to concede very much to me, 
would not to Mr. Adams. At sun set Majr. Fraser & myself proceed by 
wagon to Morris Town to lodge. Col. Ford and a Squire Canfield the 
only residents at this place of any note. Is in the Town of Hague, lands 
good. Best timber cut off, a turnpike from Ogdensburgh to this place 
on the river, thence back to Denmark, 60 miles in all, cut by Mr. 
Parish; a very good road. Is a tavern at Morristown. 

July 1 2th. Clear and pleasant, wind fresh from S.W. Majr. Fraser 
& self leave Morristown at 6 a.m. in a skiff and proceed to camp 4 
miles above. Procure from Mr. Adams the result of Mr. Bird's experi- 
ment on Mr. Darby's last work, which falsifies the same, altho a plain 
section of the river. Upon this further fact we require Mr. Adams' 
statement for the General and Majr. Fraser; forward the same, em- 
braced in his own letter, with an undisguised opinion that Mr. Darby 
is not competent to the business of this survey. Mr. Adams desired us 
to state as from him, that on account of the multiplicity of errors in 
Mr. Darby's first work, and that after frequent repetitions; from 
his great doubts as to the accuracy of his last work, and his observation 
on the manner of Mr. Darby's execution of his work altogether, he 
could not think him competent to the business of this survey. Mr. 
Adams revised my draft of his own words which I had prepared for 
Majr. Fraser to forward, at his request, and assented to the same. He 
afterwards indicted me a postscript for that communication upon the 
subject of Mr. Darby's latest work pronouncing it in substance in- 
admissable. The draft of this part of the communication is preserved 
by Majr. Fraser, is in my handwriting with Mr. Adams' alterations to 
the part he did not indict. In the evening cross to camp on our little 
island, and find no person there but Terah the cook. Col. Hawkins 
absent in Brockville. 

July 13th. Clear, high wind from S.W. Remain alone with Terah 
on the island. Majr. Fraser spends the afternoon and evening with me. 
Messrs. Adams & Bird go down the river. 

July 14th. Clear and pleasant, Tempe. moderate; high wind rises 
at noon from the S.W. Copy Mr. Thompson's report on his observa- 
tions to establish the 45 of latitude. It is badly drawn, and I think his 
choice of results is used by direction of Col. Ogilvy, or rather Mr. 
Fraser's opinions made to suite his Commissioners. He better have been 
quiet about the circle and its use, about which he differs with Mr. 
Hassler. At 3 p.m. Majr. Fraser and myself set off for the British to 
compare our documents with the originals in the possession of Mr. 
Sewell. Find their camp, after 4 hours hard struggling against a heavy 
wind, on Yeo's Island about 1 2 miles from us. The Canada shore from 


Brockville up is of inaccessible ledges of schistus rock, 1 sand stones, 
which in many places assumes regular angular forms, resembling very 
much the appearance of fortification. There is also an appearance of 
the river having at some time flowed near the top of these banks which 
will now average 30 ft. in height. Is it not probable that one of the 
rapids below was formerly a large cataract like that of Niagara, which, 
having been worn away, has emptied Lake Ontario and this part of 
the river to its present level, thus exposing to view the Milles Isles, 
which are but little more than barren rocks, also the great ridge road 
as is called, the supposed bank of Lake Ontario. This supposition will 
also account for the cutting in two of some islands by the current, and 
the alteration of the course of the current, which is very evident about 
the Long Sault. That island was probably joined to Baxter's, and others 
again below to the Long Sault. And the river below again has more the 
appearance of increase than diminution, while here the contrary is the 
fact. 2 

Finish our business with Mr. Sewell, leave there at 10 o'clock p.m. 
and reach camp at 1 . Mr. Thompson and myself have a conversation 
upon the subject of Darby's erroneous work. He had detected the errors, 
upon the knowledge of which I made him acquainted with the whole 
truth. He express'd perfect willingness to arrange the affair in any way 
Mr. Adams tho't best, and to give up the map for a corrected one 
should Mr. Adams require or wish it. 

July 15th. High wind from N.E. 12 or 14 schooners pass up the 
river in the morning. Clear and cool, rather smoky atmosphere. Col. 
Hawkins returns to camp. Make copies of last proceedings of Board 
and Mr. Adams' note to the Board, on the subject of the parallel of 
the 45 N. latitude. 

July 16. Clear and pleasant, light breeze from S.S.W. In the morn- 
ing have some laughable sport by taking fish after dosing them with 
Coclicus Indicus. Mixing it pulverized into a bread paste we threw 
in small pieces in an eddy off our island. The fish showed the first 
symptoms of their derangement, by swimming near the surface, then 
confining themselves to a small circuit, then darting in any direction 
with an apparent attempt to rise from the water: in the whole a most 
ludicrous scene. The effect produced upon the fish is more that of the 
exhilirating ammoniacal gas upon man than anything else. It does not 
disable, but rather excites with increased energies the odd conceits of 
the animal impregnated. 

1 Schistose rock, sometimes spelled shistose, or shistous. 

2 The Mss. here contains the words: "Mem. Massena Point — Mitchell's theory 


Col. Hawkins and myself have a long talk upon the prospects of the 
Commission and the plans to be pursued the next winter. He concludes 
solemnly that before the adjournment of the next Congress, he will act 
in his true character as Agent, or try the last winter's ground over 
again more seriously than he did then. Our conjectures about certain 
speculations doubtful on my part, he seemed to credit them. Mem. 
Sam. Sherwood, Judge Atwater. In the afternoon cross to the camp 
with Col. Hawkins who goes to Brockville. Return in the evening with 
a full chorus of Canadian boatmen whose plein chant made the islands 
ring with their wild notes. At night a mild warm rain. 

July 17th. Clear and warm, a little wind from the N.E.; calm most 
of the day. At noon Fraser & Darby, after boarding the steam boat as 
it pass'd down, stop at our island. Mr. Darby acquaints me with his 
intention of taking his passage in the steam boat tomorrow for Niagara 
to see Gen'l Porter. He learned last night thro Mr. Bird that his last 
work was the subject of a resurvey by Mr. Adams and Mr. Bird, and 
that without his knowledge. Takes great offence and resolves to quit 
the work. Mr. Darby, on my statement of Mr. Adams' views, agreed 
that it was the secret manner, not the fact of a resurvey, which he felt 
himself right in complaining about, and that this was done after his 
own request to have Mr. Bird resurvey his work below had been denied 
him by Mr. Adams. Finish Cuvier's Theory of the Earth with Mitchell's 
Appendix. Highly gratified and instructed by his learned and sublime 
essay. Preserve several specimens of shrubs & flowers for an account of 
which see Hortus Siccus and Index thereto. This neighborhood 
abounds with the berry fruit, such as strawberries, raspberries (service 
June or shad berries as called in different places) and the whortleberry. 
The gentian plant, wild ipecacuanha 1 and a species of sambucus 
bearing a red berry are the peculiar plants of this section. Great 
quantities of fish pass down the river, constantly leaping out of the 
water. Their progress is always with the current. Quere: whether the 
large fish do not descend to the salt water? And how far up the river 
do the sea fish ascend? Mr. Adams stays the night with me to avoid 

July 1 8th. Clear and pleasant, fresh breeze from the S.W. Mr. Darby 
is put on board the steamboat Ontario, he having resolved of his own 
accord to quit the survey. He assures me that he does not intend here- 
after to disturb the animosities that have existed between him and Mr. 
Adams, that they could both injure one another, but that on his part 

1 This plant is probably Trios teum Perfoliatum L. sometimes called Wild Ipecac, a 
weedy plant having medicinal qualities, growing from Canada south to Illinois. 


their differences should be kept from the public. I vouched for Mr. 
Adams' disposition on this subject, and told him, so long as he refrained 
from attempts to injure Mr. Adams, he might rest satisfied he would 
never be injured by Mr. Adams, that his public works under Mr. 
Adams, if given to the world, would condemn & perhaps ruin him. 
He states that he tho't that he could equally if not more sensibly injure 
Mr. Adams but gave his solemn assurance that no attempts would be 
made by him. Mr. Darby left us with apparent regret & express'd much 
attachment to all the party, but Mr. Adams. Majr. Fraser & Rich'd 1 
dine & spend the evening with us. Mr. Adams joins us at sun set. He 
made his remonstrance to the Agent against Mr. Darby and ask'd for 
relief from his insolence and abuse; and is told by the Agent that in the 
situation he is left by the Board, he cannot be justified to act in the 
premises at all. At night heavy showers of rain. 

July 19th. Cloudy morning, clears off at noon with wind from the 
S.W. Mrs. Hawkins, Miss Sherwood & Mr. Sherwood spend the day 
with us, from Brockville. They are highly gratified with our camp life, 
as well as surprised with the comforts they find in our establishment. 
Mr. Sherwood is a King's Surveyor and would like to fill the vacancy 
made by Mr. Darby's absence. 

July 20th. Sultry calm morning. In the evening Col. Hawkins & 
Lady leave the island, and take with them a boat load 6f baggage 
previous to the breaking up of the establishment, which is contemplated 
immediately, agreeably to the friendly understanding that existed be- 
tween Gen'l Porter & Col. Hawkins. Mr. Adams remains for the night 
on the island with me, in preference to the camp on the maine. We 
have a frank conversation about the various quarrels, mutinies, vex- 
ations & difficulties that at present agitate the camp and him. He de- 
clares himself most unhappily situated; says that all the party in the 
other camp he feels of late to be inimical to him; ascribes it in some of 
them to his forbearance with Mr. Darby when he so blackguardly 
vilified and abused him in the presence of them all. He is confirmed in 
his own mind as to the rectitude of that forbearance. Says the present 
state of things he cannot endure, and that a change must soon take 

1 Richard Delafield. An entry in the Journal under the meeting of June 1, 1818, p. 25 
says: "Richard Delafield, as Draftsman, to receive three dollars a day for his services 
from the first day of May to the tenth day of November of this year, and to have his ex- 
penses defrayed whilst actually employed." He took the oath on June 1, 181 8, and the 
form of oath is on file in the National Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, En- 
velope III, Folder 3, no. 12. He was a younger brother of Major Joseph Delafield, in 
1818 graduated at West Point of which he was for two periods the Superintendent, 
and became Chief of Engineers of United States Army during the Civil War with 
the grade of Brigadier General. 


place to relieve him in some manner. Intimates Majr. Fraser 's animos- 
ity toward him; that he knows not what control he has in the Com- 
mission; that Gen'l Porter left him without instructions, and without 
even saying one word as to his responsibilies, or his future arrange- 
ments; that his men mutiny and he has no redress; that in short he 
must soon have an issue which will set the matter right, by his retiring 
or otherwise. He approves of my assurance to Mr. Darby that if he 
remains quiet he has nothing to fear from Mr. Adams; suspects how- 
ever that the public will soon be made acquainted with our affairs 
thro Mr. Darby and intends to be prepared to meet any attacks from 
that quarter. I read to Mr. Adams a copy of my letter to Gen'l Porter, 
sent by Mr. Darby, which he sanctions. Make these remarks concern- 
ing the state of our camp rather to remember them than attach much 
consequence to them. Capt. Sherwood acquaints me with the fact that 
during the winter he as well as the people generally in this country, 
preserve their fresh meats by packing them down in barrels of snow, 
which instantly freeze, and so remains for months if not exposed to the 

July 21. Cloudy morning, with showers, wind S.W. Strike the Mar- 
quee and tents, and send the whole of the establishment (excepting a 
few articles which I retain for my use in the other camp) to Brockville 
from whence they are to be forwarded to Sacket's Harbor. Proceed 
with the last boat load to Brockville, and spend the remainder of the 
day with Col. & Mrs. Hawkins at Mr. Hall's house. In the afternoon 
Majr. Fraser & Mr. Bird come to Brockville for the purpose of ascer- 
taining the truth of an aspersion against them, said to be made by Col. 
Hawkins, reported by T. Clinton: to wit that Col. Hawkins had said 
that Clinton had been instigated and advised by the gentlemen of the 
camp, to institute the suit he had lately bro't against the Col. A long- 
explanation takes place, and Majr. Fraser & Col. Hawkins confer at 
the same time upon the other topics of dispute & difficulty: a great 
bluster made about this disagreeable affair. From the tenor of all that 
has transpired it is feared that it is the intention of Majr. Fraser to get 
Mr. Adams out of the Commission if he can, a most lamentable con- 
clusion, for his services can not be rendered by but few men in the coun- 
try. Resolve to save him if practicable. He will certainly save himself with 
all who understand the long length of perplexities that continue to dis- 
grace us. My own situation at this stormy moment is very peculiar; con- 
nected in duties with Col. Hawkins, as well as by every tie of friendship, 
his positions are mostly mine; with Genl. Porter good friendship, altho 
his differences with Col. Hawkins are nearly irreconcilable; and I am 
known to be advised with by both. With Mr. Adams, Fraser, and Bird 
a close friendship exists, between me & each of them and still the two 


latter have bitter animosities against the former, and I am the avowed 
adviser and confident of all three. 

July 22. Clear and pleasant, wind S.W. All things being in readiness 
to move the camp to the next section of survey. Rich'd Delafield comes 
for me, and I leave Brockville. Col. Hawkins joins the party about 
1 1 a.m. and we proceed upwards. After passing the groups of islands 
first above Brockville, about 7 miles, the islands commence again, and 
become innumerable to the traveller. Jibway, by some called Chippe- 
way Bay, begins here. The river is swelled into a lake, so filled with 
islands that the maine shore cannot be distinguished, and contracts 
again about the head of Grenadier Island. The islands are gen- 
erally of granite rock, sometimes stratified in horizontal lamina, some- 
times perpendicular, and frequently broken into cubes. Occasionally 
are found rocks of sand stone. The American shore from Hague up- 
wards is very rough and rocky: all that is apparent is barren and un- 
promising. In Jibway Bay Mr. Parish has erected a large stone house 
to which purchasers of the iron ware from Rossie may repair. His forge 
is 6 or 7 miles in the rear. At night we enter a little basin in one of these 
rude and craggy islands, and, after a good supper on the fish caught 
by trowling on the way, make our beds under the trees and by a good 
fire take our rest. Are disturbed during the night by the approach of 
some animal whose noise was unknown to us. A young fawn that we 
kept with us as a pet probably attracted him. 

July 23. A clear and pleasant day. Proceed on with our boats &c. 
at day break, and stop about 10 o'clock on a clearing on Wells Island, 
three miles from its lower end where we await the arrival of Mr. 
Thompson, who with Mr. Adams would so conclude upon the limits of 
their sections as to enable us to fix upon a proper place for our camp. 
They having found about the foot of Wells Island a good place for a 
base line, it is agreed that Mr. Adams commence and Mr. Thompson 
leave off at this point. 

Encamp on a small island opposite Wells Island & in the centre 
of this channel looking up the narrows, 8 or 10 miles. Mr. Adams & 
myself were alone in his barge and we had much conversation concern- 
ing his unpleasant situation. I plainly told him the faults that Majr. 
Fraser thought he had reason to complain of, and during the day 
perceived a disposition on his part to sacrifice every private feeling for 
the welfare of the work. The same was understood by Majr. Fraser & 
he promised me to write to the Gen'l saying there was now every 
reason to believe that harmoney would be restored. At night rain. 

July 24. Cloudy with some rain, very high wind from S.W. Steam 
boat passes at 6 a.m., Mr. & Mrs. Payne on board. In the afternoon 
cross to the American maine and make a salt lick for the deer which 


appear to be very plentiful. Mr. Hassler's son arrives from St. Regis 
with letters from his father and Mr. Bradley asking the use of our re- 
peating circle, a gust of wind having blown over their tents and tables, 
and destroyed their circle. Mr. Adams sends his under the charge of 
young Hassler on board a schooner as far as Prescott, well pleased to 
get rid of an instrument of great cost & delicacy and no use in his 
hands. 1 

July 27. Morning cloudy, wind S.W.; increases to a fresh breeze as 
usual about 9 o'clock. Set off with Majr. Fraser to visit the neighbor- 
hood below us where the surveyors are at work. After leaving them pro- 
ceed to an island called Yeo's Island. It is about a mile below Wells 
Island and toward the Canada shore: is nearly one solid rock of granite 
of a semi-oval form rising upwards of 100 ft. from the water. On its 
summit you have a splendid view of the adjacent country, river & 
islands. Here are found large rocks of white quartz with black tourmaline 
and mica. Several specimens are preserved. Sumac, wild ipecacuanha, 
and the largest whortle berries I have yet seen cover the hollows in this 
pile of rock. There is the appearance of its having supported consider- 
able timber, which has been cut down and burned on the island, 
probably by order of some officer of the British forces, as the place is a 
most favorable position for a look-out post. The granite appears to be 
based on a red sand stone. It is sometimes stratified, sometimes not. 

July 28. Wind rises from the S.W. about 8 o'clock a.m., clear and 
pleasant. Remain on the island at the foot of the narrows in camp. At 
night heavy thunder storm and some sharp lightening. 

July 29. At day break a heavy thunder shower with lightning. 
Wind N.E., changes about 9 o'clock to S.W. Majr. Fraser and myself 
set off at noon for Gravelly Point, 30 miles from our camp. South of 
the head of Wells Island commences a group of small islands which 
extend about 5 miles. Then Grind Stone Island in a range with 
Grande Isle or Long Island with a few small ones nearly connecting 
them close the long list. Grande Isle, called 26 miles in length, extends 
3 miles beyond Kingston. On our shore the river is very open, between 
Grand Island and the maine. Carleton Island intervenes with one or 
two others of inconsiderable consequence. Carleton Island is a very 
valuable tract. Arrive at Gravelly Point or Cape Vincent at dusk. The 
maine for 10 miles below is flat land and much cleared on the water; 
farms look better than any on this side; is in Jefferson County. The 
village at the point 2 is improving and I think promises much. A large 
stone house is putting up for a tavern. Young La Ray is also building 

1 Entries for July 25 and 26 merely remark on the weather. 

2 "The village at the point" is probably Cape Vincent. 


an extensive stone house. A town has been lately laid off called Lyma. 
Was formerly in Brownville. The latter is 20 miles distant. La Ray & 
Gen'l Brown principal proprietors. Catch on our way up a large mess 
of fine black bass and a muskilonge of 10 or 12 lbs. by trowling with a 
red rag. 

July 30th. Leave Gravelly Point at 8 o'clock with a fair fresh wind 
from S.S.W. and arrive at camp at 1 o'clock. Cloudy during the day, 
weather pleasantly temperate. 

July 3 1 . Genl. Porter arrives unexpectedly in the steam boat which 
passes at 6 o'clock in the morning. A clear and pleasant day; wind 
rises fresh from the S.W. about 10 o'clock. Visit Yeo's Island, the 
British camp and neighboring country with the Genl. He informs me 
of his interview with Mr. Darby on Mr. D's arrival at Black Rock, of 
Mr. Darby's impudence and his rebuke to him. He was glad to get rid 
of him and anticipated the difficulty. 

August 1. Clear and pleasant, wind rises from the S.S.W. about 
8 o'clock. Gen'l Porter advises with me as to what duties will devolve 
upon me in his absence; instructs me to draw upon the cashier of the 
Branch Bank of U.S. for New York for such funds as may be needed, 
and to have a particular care in harmonizing the Canadians to Mr. 
Adams' discipline, the only difficulty which he anticipated. I am to 
dismiss one supernumerary and to employ any assistant surveyor that 
might be sent on in the same manner that Mr. Bird is now employed. 
At 8 o'clock p.m. the steam boat arrives, and Genl. Porter and Majr. 
Fraser take leave of us. 

Aug. 2. A hazy atmosphere but pleasant temperature, wind S.S.W., 
light. All the party in camp spending the Sunday in pleasantries and 
quiet; rain at night. 

Aug. 3d. Messrs. Adams & Bird, with their respective crews, re- 
turn to the survey at the foot of Wells Island. 

Aug. 4th. Remain in camp engaged with the Journal of the Board, 
copying same to form Agent's Journal. Genl. Brown and suite descend 
the river in a schooner, and hail me from on board; do not stop because 
accompanied by ladies. Many schooners pass up with a fair wind. 

Aug. 5th. Messrs. Adams & Bird set off to the lower end of the 
Wells Island, to survey the channels on the Canada side, taking with 
them every thing requisite to remain out during the rest of the week. 
Two canoes of Onondago Indians stop on our island; are more filthy 
and not so well looking as the tribes on this river. High wind from the 
W.S.W. (being directly thro the narrows, at the foot of which we are 
encamped on an island about central) , obliges us to adopt precautions 
against the blowing away of our tents &c. Evening cloudy, wind 
variable; storm of wind and rain from the N.E. commences about mid- 


Aug. 6th. At 3 o'clock in the a.m. the violence of the storm blows 
in the side of my Marquee exposed to the N.E. and deluges the con- 
tents. Secure the Journals and some papers and deposit them in 
Richard's tent. With the help of a servant I move my baggage, books, 
bedding & every thing that is damageable, enjoying in our shirt tails 
a most furious shower bath ! At day break discover that but little dam- 
age had been done and that my Marquee had suffered most from its 
high position. Resolve after breakfast to quit so inhospitable an island 
& seek some more friendly shore. At 12 o'clock we get under way, 
with the assistance of the servants and 2 Canadians, the rest of the 
party being out on duty. Are deceived as to the head of Wells Island and 
after reconnoitring in vain for a habitable place among the group of 
islands in which we had arrived, I came to with the flotilla and lodged 
on a small island which we afterwards learned to be about one mile 
above Wells Island. 

Aug. 7. At sun rise reconnoitre the river and discover a passage 
thro the islands to the head of Wells Island, which is 3 or 4 miles wide 
at its head & has deep bays setting in, with islands running into the 
mouths of them, so that the channel thro' from maine to maine cannot 
be seen but on close approach. Find a clearing on the South side of 
Wells Island near its head. Repair there with the boats and baggage 
and pitch the tents and have the camp in order by sun set. Dispatch 
Clinton in the morning with letters to Mr. Adams and Bird, apprising 
them of our removal and the cause. 

Aug. 8th. Complete every requisite about the camp, which proves 
a very beautiful as well as comfortable place. Messrs. Adams and Bird 
return in the evening, and make report of their survey on the N. 
channel of Wells Island, extremely laborious and tedious owing to 
increased number of islands. 

Aug. 9th. The whole party in camp resting from the fatigues of the 
week (Sunday). Mr. Adams leaves us toward evening for the purpose 
of visiting the British camp below and exchanging maps, thus saving 
such an errand on a working day. He remains below at night, in order 
to be near his work in the morning. 

Aug. 10th. Between 2 and 3 a.m. am aroused from my sleep by 
the crashing of the steam boat Ontario on a shoal of rocks opposite the 
camp (near head of Wells Island) and about the middle of the river, 
run on by bad pilotage. All exertions to get her off fail til the evening 
when by lightening the boat she is warped off without serious injury. 
Mr. Channing and Mr. Cleveland, passangers, spend the day with me. 
At night send Clinton, the steward, to Ogdensburgh for provisions in a 
Denham boat that leaves the steam boat after her relief. 

Aug. nth. Remain in camp engaged with Agent's Journal &c. 

Aug. 1 2th. As yesterday. 


Aug. 1 3th. Heavy showers with a gale of wind employ us through- 
out the day in adopting precautions for the safety of our boats and 
tents. At sunset a furious gale from the W.S.W. which continues most 
of the night. 

Aug. 14. Leave the camp for the Canada shore for the purpose of 
obtaining provisions, and examining the channel on that side of Wells 
Island. There are 4 or 5 clearings on the maine, where may be had 
some vegetables. As for the channel, it can only be explained by the 
map, so numerous and irregular are the islands. In the afternoon on 
our return find Col. Hawkins in camp. 

Aug. 15th. Col. Hawkins, self & Rich'd Delafield examine the 
opposite shore and return to dine. In the evening Messrs. Adams & 
Bird return to camp from their week's tour of duty, which was spent 
in surveying the pass between Wells Island and Roux's Island, or, 
as it is called, the lake in Wells Island. It is a singular formation. 
Vide map. 

Aug. 16. The whole party in camp (Sunday) ; cool evening, Thermr. 
54 at 9 p.m. 

Aug. 17th. Messrs. Adams and Bird leave the camp at 7 a.m. for 
a week's tour of duty on the Canada side of Wells Island. Cool morn- 
ing, Thermr. at 6 a.m. at 44 ; wind W. The season now appears to be 
decidedly changed and high winds and cool nights and mornings 

Aug. 18. Go to Gannanauque in the afternoon passing around the 
head of Grindstone Island. This island is far better than Wells Island 
for cultivation & has much clearing upon it, and families. It is also 
claimed by Wells under Indian title. Gannanauque 1 is on a barren 
flat rock covered with very little soil; about a dozen houses. An ex- 
cellent saw mill belonging to a Yankee by the name of McDonald is 
on the Gannanauque River which runs back to the township of Bas- 
tard, spreads into small lakes and extends about 70 miles. By passing 3 
short rapids this river is said to communicate near Kingston. Col. 
Stone the proprietor of Gannanauque on one side the creek and Sir 
John Johnstone 2 on the other, apparently of no other promise than for 
a few mill seats. Return to camp at midnight thro the channel in Eel 

Aug. 19th. Remain in camp. 

1 Gananoque. 

* Sir John Johnson, Bart, son of Sir William Johnson, born at his father's house 
"Mount Johnson" on the Mohawk River, New York, November 5, 1742. He suc- 
ceeded to his father's great estate and tide in 1 774. He took sides against the colonists. 
After the Revolution his estates were confiscated, but he became prominent and 
wealthy in Canada, and died there January 4, 1830. 


Aug. 20th. Col. Hawkins and self go to Gannanauque to meet Mrs. 
Hawkins who had arrived in British steam boat from Brockville. Find 
there Mr. Pierpont 1 of N. York; remain at night. 

Aug. 21. Mr. Pierpont accompanies me to camp. Col. & Mrs. 
Hawkins proceed up the river in the barge for Kingston &c. Mr. 
Pierpont is interested in our surveys, being joint proprietor with others 
of the islands. Show him the maps &c. Learned from Mr. Jones of 
Brockville whom I met at Gannanauque that Gomley was to be tried 
the ensuing week at Brockville for a libel on the government; that he 
had been acquitted the past week in Kingston on a similar prosecution, 
where the populace had carried him (on hearing of the verdict) upon 
their shoulders to a hotel, where a public dinner was given him. 
He states that Leeds County, in which is Brockville, is considered the 
most disaffected in the Province; that y^ or y^ of its population is 
American and that about that number left there during the war and 
have since returned with others from the States. A Mr. Simpson has 
replied to Mr. Gomley in pamphlet, and given Mr. Gomley in my 
opinion a fine opportunity to advance a bold step further in his plan of 
reform or revolution. This appears to be the commencement of a 
bright dawn for the Canadas, which has a strong promise of a rapidly 
increasing light. Receive by American steam boat some hams & cheese 
from Gennessee River. 

Aug. 22. Take Mr. Pierpont & son to the British channel, crossing 
the head of Wells Island from camp, for the purpose of boarding the 
British steam boat. Spend 2 or 3 hours with Mr. Adams waiting for 
the boat. Mr. Adams shows Mr. Pierpont his maps and promises him 
such information & assistance as he may desire. Mr. Pierpont resolves 
to abide by our survey in taking out patents for the islands, and to 
discontinue individual surveys for the future, satisfied that he cannot, 
but by our maps, obtain an accurate knowledge of this strange con- 
figuration of land and water. Leave him on board steam boat and ar- 
rive at camp in the afternoon when Col. Ogilvy calls on me. He states 
that they are about closing their section below and will move upwards 
to Sir John's Island on Wednesday next. Messrs. Adams & Bird return 
to camp in the evening. Send Clinton to Gravelly Point by the Ameri- 
can steam boat, which passes us at 8 o'clock p.m., for letters &c. 

Aug. 23. All the party in camp (Sunday). Col. Hawkins' barge 

1 Hezekiah Beers Pierrepont, merchant, who was born in New Haven, Conn, in 
1768. He married Anna, daughter of William Constable of New York, partner of 
Alexander Macomb, and thus acquired a great landed estate of about 500,000 acres 
in northern New York. He bought the Benson farm of about sixty acres on Brooklyn 
Heights and established his family there. 


and his three boatmen arrive in camp in the afternoon from Kingston, 
having been discharged by the Col. at Kingston with instructions to 
leave the boat with me. Put the 3 men on board a batteaux same after- 
noon going down to the river to their respective residences. The Col. 
and Lady intending to pass most of the time at Kingston til the meeting 
of the Board at Buffalo &c. 

Aug. 24. Messrs. Adams & Bird leave camp early in the morning 
for a week's tour of duty,being still engaged on the North side of Wells 

Aug. 25. Remain in camp engaged with Agent's Journal; complete 

Aug. 26. Explore both American and Grind Stone Island shore 
from camp on Wells Island to head of Grindstone Island, in search of 
a place for the next encampment, and fix upon a point being the most 
southern on Grindstone Island, near its head. It is well sheltered in 
front from the S.W. winds by a grove of pine trees, has a good harbor 
for our boats on its N.E. side and is otherwise desirable. 

In the afternoon discover a fine buck in the river opposite camp, 
chased by two fishermen in a skiff. He is near making his escape when 
I set off, and approach within a few yards before they seize him by the 
horns after beating him with their oars. The deer at this season are in 
their red coat, and their horns in velvet; next month they are in a blue 
coat, and in the fall in their grey coat. In their red coat (as now) if 
shot dead in the river they sink instantly. Their other coats are more 
buoyant and prevent them sinking. 

Aug. 27. Engaged in camp. 

Aug. 28. As yesterday. Steam boat passes down at sun rise and 
leaves 4 blls. pork. 

Aug. 29th. As yesterday. In the evening Messrs. Adams and Bird 
return to camp leaving off their work for the week in the bay on the 
Canada shore opposite the head of Wells Island. Learn from them 
that their crews had been rather sulky owing to the instigation of Bero, 
a Canadian. Acquaint those gentlemen that I will at any moment dis- 
charge any man who is disobedient or disorderly & can furnish others 
readily, so that they need not humor them in any way. 

Aug. 30th. All the party in camp. We reconnoitre the ground 
about the camp, and Mr. Adams concludes that a base line can be 
cut here, upon which he can verify and conclude the work of this sec- 
tion. Richard agrees to have it opened for him during the coming 
week with the help of the servants in camp. 

August 31st. Pay off and discharge Bero. Messrs. Adams and Bird 
leave us for a week's tour. Mr. Adams lands Bero on the Canada shore. 


Work on the base line and in the course of the day have it cleared 
sufficiently to see objects thro the woods at the two extremes. 

Septr. i . Engaged with the base line. 

Septr. 2. As yesterday. In the afternoon of ist inst. Capt. Mallaby 
arrived from the harbor in Commodore Woolsey's 1 gig to meet David 
A. Ogden, whom, it was stated, he would find at this time at our camp. 
Capt'n Mallaby spends the night with me. Capt. Mallaby's arrival 
should have been under date of the ist inst. He left us this morning 
after breakfast, Mr. Ogden not having arrived. 

Sepr. 3. Cross to the opposite side of Wells Island, and find Mr. 
Adams and Mr. Bird at work in a bay filled with little islands which 
lies abreast of the head of Wells Island and 2^ miles below Ganna- 
noque, a most dismal prospect for Mr. Bird and his theodolite. He had, 
however, finished the most difficult part of it and, as he said, began to 
see light thro the darkness. He is entitled to much credit for his industry, 
perseverance and skill in his survey of this part of the river. Mr. Adams 
had been to see Mr. Thompson and found him in camp on Sir John's 
Island. Col. Ogilvy he found had established the limits of his section; 
had fixed upon the head of Grind Stone Island, the foot of Sir John's 
Island & 2 miles below Briton's Point, as the lower limit of his section, 
consequently upper limit of ours. He expected to include all of Grande 
Isle in his survey, and to extend his section to Point Peninsula and 
above Kingston. Advise Mr. Adams to propose very strenuously (as 
soon as he completes this section) that he commence on the one side 
of Grande Isle, it being the only island of much consequence in the 
river. He says he will do so & that if they have not surveyed both sides 
before he is ready to move, he will commence on that side which they 
have left undone. 

Sepr. 4th. Engaged in camp copying maps of the river for my own 
use. Send Clinton to Cape Vincent for our mail, to return tomorrow; 
is 20 miles from camp. 

Sepr. 5. As yesterday. Messrs. Adams and Bird return to camp at 
night. Mr. Bird's theodolite requires repair previous to further survey. 

Sepr. 6. All the party in camp (Sunday). About 2 o'clock Clinton 
returns from Gravelly Point with the mail, bringing with him Majr. 
Fraser whose arrival there had detained him one day longer. Make 
over to Majr. Fraser the key of the chest containing the records, with 
all its contents, left under my charge except an unfinished map by 

1 Commodore Melancthon Tyler Woolsey, born in New York in 1782. Entered the 
U. S. Navy in 1800. Served on the Great Lakes through the War of 181 2. Was in 
command at Sacket's Harbor till 1824. 


Mr. Adams of the section of survey containing the upper part of Long 
Sault, Baxter's Island, &c. which he had taken for the purpose of com- 
pleting. Explain same to Majr. Fraser in presence of Mr. Adams. Mr. 
Adams offered to return map to me, but Majr. Fraser took the loan 
upon himself or considered it as of his own arrangement, whereon I 
permit it to remain with Mr. Adams. 

Sepr. 7. Monday. Mr. Adams proceeds to Kingston in his barge 
to endeavor to have Mr. Bird's theodolite repaired, one of its clamping 
screws having failed. Mr. Bird goes to Eel Bay and sets station for his 
future work. 

Sepr. 8th. All absent but Fraser, Rich, and self. 

Sepr. 9th. As yesterday. Mr. Adams comes to camp to breakfast, 
having lodged in Eel Bay the night previous returning from Kingston. 
Has the theodolite repaired to answer, he thinks, for the season. 

Sepr. 10th. Having settled my accounts with Clinton (steward) for 
expenses during my charge of the camp, prepared to leave them, and 
in the afternoon set off in a barge and 2 men for Kingston. Majr. 
Fraser accompanies me, intending to cross to Gravelly Point for the 
mail after leaving me at Kingston. Lodge at night at British camp on 
Sir John's Island, 1 lower end. Mr. Adams only in camp, Col. Ogilvy in 
Montreal, Mr. Thompson and Mr. Stevenson encamping out for the 
first time, it having been their custom always to sleep in camp. Find 
a large cluster of islands about Gannanoquey included in our section, 
which inclines me to believe that little else can be done by our party 
than conclude their section this season. 

Sepr. 1 ith. Breakfast in British camp & at 7 o'clock proceed in our 
boat towards Kingston where we arrive at 1 o'clock p.m. Kingston has 
increased rapidly since the war. The stone used for buildings is hand- 
some and at hand, a hard, laminated lime stone or marble. The 76th 
Regt. is now there. A company of players from Montreal perform a 
poor set. "God Save the King" is called for repeatedly, apparently to 
vex the Americans. It becomes offensive and a row being in embryo, I 
leave the house, rather than listen to more music than there was 
recitation. See but few genteel people in or about Kingston. It contains 
say 2000 people, and a Catholic and an English Church. Scotch & 
English prevail. Gomley has many friends here. 

Sepr. 1 2th. Embark at 10 o'clock in a schooner for Sacket's Harbor, 
taking the boat in tow to land Fraser on the American shore. Wind 
S.E. Mr. Draine, Mr. Thayer and Mrs. Blaquiere of the Province's pas- 
sengers. In the afternoon wind increases to a gale & finding it im- 
possible to beat to windward, make a harbor in Horse Shoe Bay formed 

1 Sir John Johnson, see p. 207. 


by Simcoe's and Grande Isle. We lie here very quiet; rain commences 
and storm continues to rage during the night. Objecting to the small, 
dirty cabin, we sleep on deck making a covering of the sails. Mrs. 
Blaquiere, who proves as agreeable and intelligent an acquaintance 
as she is a lovely woman, puts herself under my protection for the night. 
Using the boom for a ridge pole, make an excellent little tent, with 
part of the main sail, aside of the companion way, and, with my 
buffalo skin for a bed and a supply of cloaks, am fortunate enough to 
keep Mrs. Blaquiere perfectly dry and comfortable during the night. 
Our mutual uneasinesses prevented much sleep, but we were greatly 
rejoiced to have shelter and rest during the turbulence of a furious 
storm. Mr. Thayer, the protector of my new travelling friend (Mrs. 
Blaquiere), being very sea sick affords me an opportunity to continue 
useful to the lady; altho unaccustomed to exposure, she braves the 
perils of the storm and the terrors of her new situation with the greatest 
confidence & fortitude and without inconvenience. 

Sepr. 13. As the storm still continues to rage, it is thought best to 
return to Kingston. We reach there at 10 o'clock, and repair to Moore's 
Coffee House, where we are much restored by a good breakfast &c. 
In the evening the storm abates. Our fellow travellers from the Province 
uncertain of reaching the harbor in time for the steam boat, take the 
Charlotte Sm. Boat for Bay of Quints, and thence by land to York. 
Mrs. Blaquiere unwilling to undertake so fatiguing a jaunt waits for 
the Frontignac, which boat is absent and kept out of her ordinary trip 
by the new governor, the Duke of Richmond. We spend our evening 
together very sociably and with reluctance I take leave of the only 
Canadian I had yet met with whose society made either the one prov- 
ince or the other any way agreeable to me. At night Majr. Fraser falls 
in company with some officers and others at the tavern, who become 
heated in their conversation upon national topics, which ends in Majr. 
Fraser stopping the clamor of their many tongues, by the only argu- 
ment which he could then well use, an appeal to arms! Some of them, 
having reason enough remaining to perceive that mischief might grow 
out of the brawl, exerted it to pacify the others, and the affair was 
drowned in their wine! 

Sepr. 14th. Leave Kingston at 6 o'clock in the morning in the same 
schooner in which we first embarked, with a promise of a good wind. 
Wind rises ahead and light until evening when, changing to the S.W. 
and blowing hard, we run into Sacket's Harbor by 2 o'clock at night. 
There are 3 packet boats now plying between these places, small schoo- 
ners, and they are well supported. A steam boat is built for this ferriage 
and will ply the next season. 

Sepr. 15. Land from the packet early in the morning and breakfast 


at the Mansion House kept by Woodbury. It is a neat house and better 
kept than any other in the place; from its air of gentility the rabble 
avoid it. The weather still continues blustering and cloudy. The ap- 
pearance of a heavy storm and the high wind blowing keeps all the 
boats in the harbor. Capt. Mallaby calls on me with a letter out of the 
Post Office here from home, a month old, which he had set out with 
for our camp on a visit in his gig, but was driven back by the weather. 

The public vessels here are fast going to decay. 1 One, the Jefferson, 
lies sunk, others are badly hog'd and look like ruins. At Kingston they 
are kept in much better order and now and then get a covering of paint 
to keep them bright. Their large ship is badly hog'd. The two large 
vessels on the stocks are not under cover; their frames are nearly or 
quite complete; they are three deckers beside the gun deck. Their 
navy yard is a strong place. The fort on Point Frederic commands the 
yard, the town & neighboring country. A high ridge of land leads to 
this fort from the rear or N. & N.E. It can be approached that way, or 
by its left bastion on a ridge nearly or quite as high as the ground on 
which the work stands. There is a small rocky island half a mile distant 
in front of the fort, which is high, but does not command the fort. 
They continue to improve their works. At Sacket's Harbor there are 
no works of any consequence. The fort at the marine barracks and near 
the Madison barracks are light works. Sacket's Harbor has improved 
very much. The large stone hotel (unoccupied) is an elegant building 
and would ornament any city. This has been a training day for the 
militia of the county, who assembled at Brownville. At night the young 
men of this place return, come to the Mansion House and keep up their 
frolic to the fear and disturbance of all who would sleep. The Indian 
dance and war whoop was their particular amusement, which fortu- 
nately soon wore them out, and it became quiet by midnight. 

The stage leaves Watertown for Utica every Monday & Thursday, 
so that you must ride there the evening before, a distance of 12 miles. 
A stage waits at the harbor for that purpose. The packet boats from 
this to Kingston take for freight mostly live stock & vegetables for the 
Kingston market. Take my seat in the stage to Watertown to start 
4 o'clock 1 6th inst: write to Col. Hawkins & Gen'l Porter to acquaint 
them of my departure. 

Sepr. 1 6th. Cloudy, Tempe. modr., light rain. At 4 o'clock p.m. 
leave Sacket's Harbor and passing thro Brownville lodge at Water- 
town. At Brownville there are fine mill seats, a woolen and cotton 
manufactory &c. 

Sepr. 17. Leave Watertown at 2 a.m., breakfast at Denmark, dine 

The Rush-Bagot Treaty of April 28, 1818, may account for vessels falling into decay. 


at Mariam's, and lodge in Utica at Bagg's. The whole of the road on 
this route is pretty well cleared and settled. About the towns only, 
however, do the clearings generally speaking extend beyond half a 
mile from the road. Made inquiry concerning the Jerseyfield lots. 
There are no clearings whatever that I could hear of upon them. 
Trenton is the town nearest to them on the road and is 6 or 7 miles 
from them. The people here knew but little about the soil. Col. Lamb 
who travelled with me from Water town owns lands adjoining in Law- 
rence. They are all wild and lie in a cold district. He would sell he said 
for yi dollar pr. acre. The land is apparently covered with hard wood 
mostly; some hemlocks show their tops, but not numerous. On further 
inquiry in Utica learn that there are several settlements upon the 
Jerseyfield tract, that the land is generally good, that Trenton which is 
the nearest town to this tract is fast settling by the Welsh emigrants, 
that many stop there. This town is probably from 6 to 8 miles distant 
from the Jerseyfield lots. 

Mr. Breeze of Utica (clerk) has lots in Jerseyfield and is said to have 
a map. Robt. McGomb is said to own a lot. Col. Lamb promised to 
send me a map. 

Sepr. 1 8th. Remain in Utica and examine the canal for about two 
miles from the town. Within half a mile from Utica it crossed a creek, 
throwing a strong stone arch of masonry over it, and filling up the 
valley perfecting the level so that no lock is required. The contracts are 
taken for the whole route that has been laid out for the workmen, at 
present, to wit, from Utica to Seneca Lake. Many more offers were 
made than were wanted. 2000 men are employed on this route and the 
excavations and finishing are progressing rapidly and successfully. The 
smaller creeks are passed over by iron culverts of different diameters. 
Those which I saw near Utica were 2^ & 3 ft. The contracts were 
taken at the rate of from 121^ to 14 cents per square yard. They are 
again let to sub-contractors for a trifle less. Overseers appointed by the 
Commissioners superintended the work. A distance of 2 miles was 
finishing to give the governor a ride upon his visit to the canal this fall. 
Many of the farmers thro whose lots the work pass'd complained much; 
others favor'd the work. The Commissioners have agreed to build 
bridges in such instances as where they have divided farms. The people 
of Utica appeared generally to be pleased with the project. 

Sepr. 19th. Mr. Wadsworth 1 of Gennesee & myself take an extra 
carriage and ride to Herkimer to shorten the next days ride to Sche- 

1 James Wadsworth, born at Durham, Conn, in 1 768, graduated Yale in 1 787 and 
in 1 790 removed to Genesee River, New York, where he became a great landed pro- 
prietor and established his family. 


nectady. Mr. Porter of Utica joins us. At Herkimer meet with Mr. 
Goodrich, 1 an old collegiate acquaintance, now a professor of Yale 
College, on his way to the Falls &c. accompanied by young D wight, 2 
who is a tutor to my surprise, a youth of about 23 years not matured 
for his age. 

Sepr. 20. The stage arrives at Herkimer about 6 a.m. and after 
breakfasting we proceed on our route and reach Schenectady about 
sun set. 

Sepr. 21. Leave Schenectady at 6 a.m. and reach Albany at 7. 
Leave Albany in the steam boat Chancellor Livingston at 10 a.m. 
Among the passengers was Mr. Lancaster, 3 the founder of schools 
bearing his name, or rather a system of schooling. He had disappointed 
the Albanians very much in a lecture delivered before them. They say 
he should have stayed at home to preserve his high reputation. 

Sepr. 22. Arrive in New York at 4 o'clock a.m. Among the steam 
boat travellers was also Mr. Darby, who had lately been discharged 
from our party on the boundary line. He was much exasperated against 
General Porter and Mr. Adams, and swore solemnly that they should 
account to him for their abuse and misusage of him. He told me he 
had seen Dewitt Clinton 4 in Albany and breakfasted with him, that 
DeWitt Clinton had subscribed for a dozen of his books that he in- 
tended preparing for the press. Express'd much friendship for every 
person attached to the Commission but General Porter & Mr. Adams; 
said that his connection with the Commission should form no part of 
his work, that he feared this winter he would be involved in a very 
disagreeable quarrel with Gen'l Porter and Mr. Adams. 6 

Five Nations. The English had constantly encouraged the Savages to carry 
war into Canada, and Col. Dongan and others were their advisers and abettors. 
Smiths N. York 
Sepr. 23. In 1603 the French settled Canada — Waged war with the 

1 Chauncey Allen Goodrich, born at Xew Haven in 1790 was the professor of rheto- 
ric and oratory at Vale. 

2 William Theodore Dwight, born in Greenfield Hill, Conn, in 1795, graduated at 
Vale in 181 3 and was a tutor there, 1817-1819. He was a younger son of Timothy 
Dwight the president of Yale. 

3 Joseph Lancaster, born in London in 1778. He established a system of schools 
and founded a number of them in England. In 181 8 he came to America where some 
schools using his system had already been established and after a few years went to 

4 DeWitt Clinton, the Governor of New York, 1824 till his death in 1828. 
'The Journal of July 24, 1822 says, under Oct. 1, 1818, p. 29: 

"Resolved that Mr. Wm. Darby and Mr. John Adams be considered respectively 
discharged from the service of the Board," Adams ''from the bad state of his health." 



Indians under Govt Courcelles in 1665. In 1672 the Govt erected a Fort at 
Cadaracqui now called Kingston. This fort was finished by Count Frontenac 
and took his name. 

In 1678 Mr. De la Salle rebuilt Fort Frontenac with stone and launched a 
vessel of 10 tons on Lake Ontario. 

In 1679 De ^ a Salle launched another vessel on Lake Erie of 60 tons about 
which time he inclosed a little spot at Niagara with Pallisadoes. 

1684 De la Barre Govt of Canada marched 1700 men to Lake Ontario to 
punish the Seneca's for irruptions. 

1693 6 or 700 French & Indians march from Montreal against the Mohawks 
& take Schenectady. 

1697 The French make Treaty of Peace with the 


On the Madwga commonly called Paduca River. Are of two tribes the Brigonee 
and the Madogee Indians, and are settied on two promontories called Keonau 
in Lat. about 48 N. & 80 W. 

Have the use of letters, and speak of their ancestors (in Wales) calling them 
by the name Brydon. 

Speak fine Welsh. Religion Druidical — First settled at Llechein now Lex- 

The above facts are from the London Courrier of March 12. 181 9 & are 
given in a letter signed by Owen Williams Feed Merchant. Mem: to inquire 
as to facts of Col Ogilvy and other experienced traders & Voyaguers. 

No truth in above. 

Expenses fron Camp to N. York — 

Sepr. 12 Tavern bill at Kingston 3 

" our Boatmen from Camp 1 

Tavern Bill at Kingston being obligd to put into port there 4 

Passage to Sts Harbor with expenses 3 

for baggage at the harbor 

Tavern bill at Woodbury at Harbor, 2 dys 4 

Stage fare to Watertown 1 

Stage fare from W to Utica supper & lodging 7 

Breakfast at Denmark 

Dinner at Mariam's 

Tavern expenses at Utica 3 

Fare to Herkimer 2 

lodging supper & breakfast at Herkimer 1 

Fare to Utica 6 

Dinner at Shepherds 

Supper & lodging at Schenectady 

Fare to Albany 1 

Breakfast at Albany 

Steam Boat fare & tax to N. York 8 

for Baggage 







J 9 




2 5 







May 25, i8ig to July 16, i8ig 

Tuesday, May 25, 18 19. Left New York at 5 p.m., in the steam boat 
Chancellor Livingston for the Boundary Line, and arrived in Albany 
the following day at 3 o'clock p.m. 

Wednesday, 26 May. Left Albany for Troy on a visit to Mr. Cush- 
man & family. A ferry boat is in operation at Troy upon a new prin- 
ciple, 1 is propelled by wheels, which are set in motion by two horses 
travelling on a large horizontal cylindrical wheel or circle. This circle 
revolves by the force of the horse's step, the horse constantly travelling 
on the same space, being his own length. This circle connected with 
the wheels of the boat, by simple machinery under the deck gives 
motion to the wheels & propels the boat (a common scow) across that 
ferry in 3^ to 5 minutes. 

Thursday, 27th. May. Return from Troy in the evening to Skinner's 
in Albany. Meet my old college chum, E. Baldwin, & we spend the 
evening together. 

Friday, 28th. May. Leave Albany in the mail stage at 3 o'clock 
in the morning for Utica, and arrive at Utica at sun set, being a dis- 
tance of 96 miles! The weather cold, a heavy frost was discernable til 
some time after sun rise, tender garden plants, apple trees &c. much 
injured. At Utica the frost not so severe as at Schenectady. Lodge at 

Saturday, 29th. May. Remain in Utica, there being no stage for 
Sacket's Harbor until Monday next. Stage for Sacket's Harbor leaves 
Utica every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning. 

Sunday, 30th. Remain at Utica. 

Monday, 31st. May. At 2 o'clock in the morning leave Utica for 
Watertown. Breakfast at Trenton which is the nearest town on this 
route to the Jerseyfield lands. Russia about 6 miles from Trenton is 
the nearest settlement to these lands & the road from Johnstown the 
most direct. There is a prejudice against the whole of the tract known 
as Brown's purchase, for its coldness &c. Arrive at 9 p.m. at Watertown. 

1 This new ferry-boat. 


Tuesday, June i . Leave Watertown and arrive at Sacket's Harbor. 
Learn that Mr. Bird is at work on the islands off the Harbor, and about 
to finish. 

Wednesday, June 2d. Pass the day at the Harbor. Dine with Capt. 
Heaving at the barracks with mess. Mr. Bird and Mr. Ferguson 1 the 
two assistant surveyors come in from Grenadier Island having finished 
their labors at this end of the lake. The Lady of the Lake is ordered to 
take us to Niagara. 

Thursday, June 3. Make arrangements to sail from Sacket's Har- 
bor in the Lady of the Lake at 2 p.m. Judge Ogden & daughter & 
Mr. De Russy, our draughtsman, arrive in the stage. The Judge being 
appointed Commissioner to establish a site for a Light House sails with 
us accompanied by Mr. Adams & Mr. Mallaby of the Navy, for that 
purpose. Mr. Dominick & Mr. Ford go as officers of the vessel. At 
night come to off Stony Island and went on shore to sleep, Judge 
Ogden & daughter occupying one hut & the rest of us the other. This 
island has more than 100 acres cleared, and has some good land. 

Friday, June 4. Leave Stony Island at day break and sail for the 
Galloir, come to off Capt. Hill's. Examine the high land in the rear of 
his house, but it is thought too distant from the navigable waters to be 
a proper position for a Light House. Set sail after breakfast & come to 
again at the head of the same island. Here was established the Light 
House site. Sailed for Grenadier Island and in the afternoon took on 
board Mr. Bird & Mr. Ferguson with their camp equipage and their 
party, and got underway for Niagara. Put Judge Ogden & daughter 
on board the steam boat Ontario as she passes us bound to Ogdens- 
burgh, and Messrs. Adams & Mallaby leave us in their gig for the 
Harbor. From Sacket's Harbor to the mouth of the Niagara is called 
160 miles. 

Saturday, June 5. Found ourselves about y 2 way by 8 a.m., the wind 
ahead. Soundings in 75 fathoms — mud bottom. 

Sunday, June 6. At 6 p.m. arrive at Niagara and land at Youngs- 
town. Sup & lodge at Hathaway's. In the evening call on Capt. Gates 2 
at Fort Niagara, and make arrangements to have forwarded to Black 
Rock our camp equipage deposited there. Tried the experiment on our 

1 James Ferguson, born in Scotland August 31, 1797 and died in Washington, 
D.C. Sept. 26, 1867. An engineer on the Erie Canal, 181 7-19 then an assistant sur- 
veyor on the Boundary Commission under the Treaty of Ghent and astronomical 
surveyor on the same Commission, 1822- 182 7. 

2 William Gates, born in 1788 and graduated West Point in 1806. In the Florida 
War he personally captured the chief, Osceola, and later accompanied the Cherokees 
to the Indian Territory. Brevetted a Brigadier General in 1865 after his retirement 
from the army. 


passage of sinking a bottle well stop'd. Closed the common junk bottle 
with a good cork, a thick coat of wax, and a tarr'd canvass secured by 
rope yarn. At 70 fathoms it was filled. The cork was started, and the 
wax broken but not driven in entirely. 

Monday, June 7. Leave Youngs town with Messrs. Bird, Ferguson 
& DeRussy. Proceed after breakfasting at Lewistown to the Falls, and 
ride to the camp on Goat Island 1 without leaving our waggon. The 
bridge appears perfectly safe. The island is of very rich soil and con- 
tains 70 acres. The bridge rests on 12 piers and is 900 ft. long. It rests 
or rather first reaches an island, which appears at some time to have 
been detached from Goat Island, and then another bridge extends to 
Goat Island, in length including island & both bridges, 900 feet. Mr. 
Bird and party encamp on Goat Island and wait instructions from the 
Commissioners. After examining the different views of the rapids and 
the Falls from Goat Island I proceed to Black Rock. In the evening wait 
upon Genl. Porter, and find there Col. Ogilvy and Col. Hale. Learn 
that the Board had held a meeting on Goat Island on Friday the 4th 

Lodge at Berry's Steam Boat Hotel. 

Tuesday, June 8. Spend the day at Black Rock with Genl. Porter. 
Vessels are towed up from Black Rock to Buffalo by oxen. This is 
sailing with what the Buffalonians call a Horn Breeze. About 12 yoke 
take up the steam boat. Without a fresh and fair wind she cannot pass 
the rapids of Black Rock without a Horn Breeze. Black Rock is improv- 
ing more than any village I have pass'd this season. In the evening 
proceed to Buffalo, and lodge at Landen's. Wrote to Col. Hawkins to 
advise him of the proceedings of the Board and gave letter to Mr. Sher- 
wood to deliver. 

Wednesday, June 9. In the morning accompany Col. Jones & 
Lady to Black Rock to visit Genl. Porter and return to Buffalo to 
dinner, remain at Buffalo. Address to Col. Hawkins at Utica advising 
him of my being here. 

A large brig called the Wellington, sailed from Ft. Erie bound up 
the lake. 

Thursday, June 10. Accompany Col. Jones & Lady & Mr. Dix 2 
to Black Rock to dine with Genl. & Mrs. Porter. Genl. Brown and suite 
with Col. Brady arrive at Buffalo, the former to take passage in the 
Walk in the W f ater on a visit to the Western Posts; return to Buffalo in 

1 For a further description of Goat Island now called Iris Island, see p. 222, under 
June 16. 

2 John Adams Dix, born in New Hampshire in 1798. Diplomat, soldier, and lawyer. 
Governor of New York 1872- 1874. A Major General of New York Volunteers during 
the Civil War. 


the evening. The waters of Lake Erie are 3 feet lower than usual. No 
satisfactory reason is given for the rise and fall of these inland seas. 
The change is very perceptable at the Great Falls. Rocks are exposed 
which have not been seen before. The bar of Buffalo Creek appears to 
be rapidly closing up the river. The prevailing S.W. winds raise a sea 
that breaks directly upon this point bringing with it the wash of the 

Every storm creates an apparent change, and it may not be long ere 
the trifling harbor that now shelters their craft will be added to the 
sandy shores of the lake. It is contemplated to extend a pier, but I can 
conceive of no artificial means that will remedy the evil. The bottom 
of the lake will continue to supply this neighborhood with bars of sand 
until the more mighty efforts of nature give a different direction to the 

Black Rock affords a shelter for the heavy vessels of Lake Erie. Fort 
Erie is the harbor on the British side. Neither of these are without ob- 
jections: the first wants water and is below a rapid; the other is exposed. 
They say at Black Rock that by extending a pier from the shore they 
can deaden the water on the American shore, and thus make it easy 
of egress. Such a pier would I think only prove a barrier to the sand 
or the deposit of the lake; thus by creating a shallow rather impair than 
improve their landing. 

Friday, June II. In the afternoon cross the ferry to Fort Erie with 
Col. Jones, Mr. Dix & Mr. Whiting 1 of the Army. Examine the several 
positions of the two armies, held by them respectively during the attack 
and the sortie. The trees still show many marks of shot & the batteries 
their form & strength. There is scarcely a tree in the range of the forts 
that does not show from one to a dozen shot wounds. Eighteen pounders 
were the largest calibres mounted on our works. We were treated with 
much civility by a Capt. Maxwell who keeps the inn near the old Fort 
Erie. The person who keeps the adjoining tavern is said to be unfriendly 
& rude to the American visitors. Since yesterday I have learned that 
Buffalo Creek is closed every summer by the increase of the sand bar, 
and that it is opened again in the spring when the creek is swelled and 
the current rapid. This being true, a pier above the creek, extending 
in the lake beyond the sand bar, may possibly afford shelter for vessels. 

Saturday, June 12. At 5 o'clock p.m. the steam boat Walk in the 
Water leaves Black Rock for Michilimackinach now called Mackina. 
She has a full freight of Indian goods, on account of Mr. Astor, and 50 
cabin and 30 steerage passengers. 

1 Henry Whiting, born about 1 790. Aide to General Alexander Macomb. Brev- 
etted a Brigadier General in 1847. 


In the evening Capt. Douglass 1 our principal surveyor arrives at 
Buffalo from West Point to join the Commission. 

The Walk in the Water is about 360 tons burthen. 

Sunday, June 13. In the morning leave Buffalo with Capt. Douglass 
for Goat Island. Take a boat at Black Rock and land at Schlosser, 
passing down the Canada side of Grand Island and between Grand 
Island and Navy Island. Find Col. Brady and party at Whitney's 
tavern where we board. At night lodge in camp on Goat Island, the 
camp being pitched on the lower point of the island, on the Canada 
Rapids. Col. Ogilvy's camp is on Navy Island. In the evening Gen'l 
Porter and Lady, Mrs. Lewis, Mrs. Cabel and others arrive at Judge 
Porter's, at the Falls, having passed down on the British side. 

The noise of the rapids and falls (between which our camp is pitched) 
proved rather unfriendly to the sleepy god. 

Monday, June 14. The Board holds a meeting at Col. Ogilvy's 
Marquee on Navy Island. Visit the Falls at its different points on this 
shore and on Goat Island. Dine with Judge Porter and party and in the 
afternoon descend the stairs and proceed ^ a mile on the shore of the 
straits in search of minerals. Find quantities of chrystalized carbonate 
of lime in cavaties of the lime stone rocks and preserve specimens. 2 We 
also find a very fine and pure composition of gypsum in a soft state, 
perfectly white (Gypseaus Alabaster). This is only found in small 
quantities and in the fragments of the lime stone when first broken. 
There is considerable red sand stone at the lowest range of the shore 
and it is overlaid by lime stone. The sand stone is a stratum below the 
lime stone, and the granite found on the shore appears to have been 
precipitated from above. 

Sleep in camp on Iris Island, heretofore called Goat Island. The 
noise of the rapids and falls now from its monotony is rather a lullaby 
than an antidote to sleep. The whole island appears to tremble under 
my pillow, yet I as well as the whole party rested perfectly throughout 
the night. 

The Board did no business of public importance at their meeting 
this day and adjourned to hold their next meeting on the river St. 
Clair, if an earlier meeting should not be called. 

Tuesday, June 15. Remain at Iris Island and take my meals at 

1 David Bates Douglass, born March 21, 1790, graduated Yale in 181 3. Did dis- 
tinguished service as an engineer officer during the War of 181 2 in operations about 
Niagara. Laid out Green-Wood Cemetery, New York. Became Superintendent of the 
U. S. Military Academy at West Point and after resigning from the army a celebrated 
engineer, professor and college president. 

8 Major Delafield's "specimens" are now in the museum of New York University 
at their buildings on University Heights in New York City. 


Whitney's, as do the other gentlemen of the party present. Gen'l Porter 
remains at Manchester with us. 

Find on Iris Island, on the shore opposite the camp, a stratum of 
peculiarly fine clay, and preserve specimens. It is wrought by our men 
into ink stands, candle sticks, pipes &c. by the simple operation of the 
knife. Adjoining is a bed of red sand as fine as or finer than emery and 
well calculated for polishing steel &c. The clay stratum is about 10 
feet below the surface and appears to be extensive, showing itself at 
several points on the island. 

Lodge in camp on Iris Island. 

Wednesday, June 16. Iris Island, formerly known as Goat Island, 
divides the Falls of Niagara into two unequal falls, that on the Canada 
side consisting of two thirds, if not a greater proportion, of the waters 
that pass from Lake Erie. This division of the waters takes place about 
4 miles below Black Rock, at the head of Grand Island, there being 
a stronger current & greater body of water flowing on the British side 
than the American side of that island. After leaving Grand Island and 
Navy Island opposite Chippewa (which is mostly lock'd by Grand 
Island) and about two miles below them, is Iris Island. It contains 70 
acres of very fine land and is richly timbered with red & white cedar, 
pine, maple, basswood &c. The upper end of the island has been lately 
cleared and now bears a fine growth of corn. The lower end is left 
covered with wood, and the underbrush and rubbish is about to be 
carried off, leaving a beautiful and clear grove for the more pleasant 
resort of the curious traveller and visitors. The rapids on the Canada 
side of this island are about one mile in length and form in themselves 
a striking majestic scene. The descent is about 60 feet before these 
waters reach the Great Cataract. On this side is the Horse Shoe Fall, so 
called from its former resemblence in shape. It now bears no similitude 
to a horse shoe. The heaviest body of water rushes nearer Iris Island 
than Table Rock, and has consequently cut a passage progressing 
toward that island. The shape that this fall has now assumed is an acute 
angle, its longest side extending from the Canada shore. From Table 
Rock to Iris Island in a right line is . . . feet. On the American side the 
width is . . . feet. There are several little islands in the rapids of this side, 
appearing heretofore to have been attached to Iris Island. 

The island on this side is connected with the maine by a bridge. 
This bridge is below the most furious rapids and . . . feet above the Great 
Fall. It consists of two parts. The first bridge is 400 feet long and rests 
on 7 piers. It then rests on an island 300 feet wide. The second bridge 
is 225 long and rests on 5 piers. The manner of fixing these piers in the 


rapids is as ingenious as the project was bold. The longest timber in 
the woods was obtained, ash trees. The first pier being constructed 
without danger, these long timbers were slid out from it, to the place 
where the next pier was to be. They were about 100 feet long, two in 
number secured by cross pieces at the ends and center, and prevented 
tipping when thus extended, by the weight of their butt ends on the 
first pier, and other securities. Having these timbers to form a sort of 
platform to the place where the pier was wanted the first operation was 
to sink and fix a light frame about 6 by 4 ft. which was done in parts, 
anchoring each part as it was arranged with stone. The angles of this 
frame were presented to the rapids, so as to have the least resistance, 
and it was found the most difficult part to force perpendicularly to the 
bottom any sticks of sufficient size to attach the frame work of this little 
pier. It was however successfully accomplished, and having thus 
gradually raised this pier to the surface, a foundation was established 
wereupon they could work to advantage in building one more secure. 
For this purpose piers of the desired dimensions were prepared on shore. 
By pieces they were carried to the spot. The long sides of the pier to be 
sunk were (one piece at a time) fastened by a rope and pulley to the 
end of the long timber already projected. This piece was then given to 
the rapid, and drawn into its place on the one side of the little pier 
already sunk. Its corresponding side was treated in the same manner. 
The two end pieces were then brought across, and pin'd together. 
Thus the first frame of the large pier was formed, afloat around the 
small one. Another frame was then formed on top of this, in the same 
manner, and so on, til of sufficient depth, when the whole was heavily 
loaded with stone. In the first bridge there are two piers 60 feet asunder 
and Judge Porter tells us that the very long timbers he was here 
obliged to slide out, so bended from their own weight as to nearly 
touch the water. They were necessarily thus long from the circum- 
stance of a rapid intervening, in which no pier could be constructed. 
Many of the piers are partially protected by rocks and shoal water a 
little above, but some of them are sunk in frightful rapids. This bridge 
was projected by Judge Porter and his brother, the General, and built 
under the sole directions of the Judge. It is a toll bridge, toll 25 cents — 
is free however to our party. One accident only happened during the 
building of the bridge. A laborer was thrown from the outside of the 
second pier by the hand spike of a windlass. The rapid is just here tre- 
mendous, but fortunately about 20 feet from the pier breaks over a 
rock that gives the rapid a direction to the right and to the left. He was 
thrown to the right and reached the shoal water and held to a rock, til 
his comrades ran around, and clasping hands extended themselves in 


the rapid til they reached him, and thus saved him from a descent over 
the Fall. 

The water below the Fall is 300 feet deep. It was sounded by order 
of Judge Porter some years ago. This depth was found at the place 
where the ferry boat now crosses which is about 250 yards below the 

Thursday, June 17. Capt. Douglass leaves the camp on Iris Island, 
to join Mr. Bird and Mr. Ferguson who have carried the survey as high 
as Lewistown. They propose conducting the survey on the shores of the 
pass between Lewiston and the falls instead of the banks. 

In the afternoon a load of our camp equipage arrives from Fort 
Niagara. Pay a Mr. Forsyth for forwarding it from Niagara to Lewis- 
ton 8 dlls. including however a charge for storage in a public store at the 
fort, for forwarding across the portage paid 3 dlls. 

Friday, June 18. Gen'l Porter & Majr. Fraser leave camp for their 
homes at Black Rock. I remain alone with Mr. De Witt 1 on Iris Island. 
In the morning walk to the sulphur spring about 2 miles below the 
Falls. This spring is within 100 yards of the river and about the same 
distance from the road & is at that point from whence you have a dis- 
tant view of the Falls. This is the first view that the traveller has, as he 
ascends from Lewistown and is highly picturesque and beautiful, a 
view not surpassed by any other, when the whole subject has become 
familiar from the different positions. 

This sulphur spring is strongly impregnated. The sulphur shows 
itself on the grass and stones over which the water passes, and the 
traveller needs no other guide than his nose to find the spot when in the 
neighborhood. I drank as freely as I could of the water, but it was too 
nauseous to be enjoyed. The water is very cold — so much so, that I 
could not keep my hand immersed without pain. The spring is in its 
original rude state, and appears to have been but little frequented. 
A foot path thro' the bushes leads from the road to the spring; continu- 
ing from this spring to the river, inclining to the right, you arrive at a 
point where the river changes its direction toward the S.W. Below this 
point is the whirlpool and rapid. Above it, is a right line to the Falls, 
the waters are not much agitated. I observed that this chasm is not cut 
entirely as is generally supposed thro' solid rock. There are occasional 
cuts thro' sand and gravel. It may be remarked that the irregular 
breadth of the river from Lewistown to the Falls is owing to the different 
degrees of resistance that the rapids met with. For instance, where the 

1 Simeon DeWitt, born Ulster Co., New York Dec. 25, 1756 — a topographical 
officer during the American Revolution in the American Army. In 1784 became 
Surveyor General of New York. 



rock is solid, the pass is more narrow than where the sand and gravel 
banks prevail. In the latter instances, the pass swells into little bays, 
and again contracts on its approach to the rocks. The cut is nearly 
perpendicular, and the shores beneath the banks are inaccessable. Meet 
Mr. Gray, the draughtsman of the British party, at our landlord's 
(Whitney's). He has sketched a full view of the Falls from the opposite 
shore below the ladder, a view from the stairs on the American side, 
a view of the bridge and rapids from a mill of Judge Porter's, and a 
view of the Horse Shoe from Goat Island. 

Saturday, June 19. A solitary day on Iris Island. Opened a view 
of the rapids from the Marquee, and roved in different directions about 
the Falls. 

Was informed by a man who said he was in the employ of Com'e 
Owen, when he surveyed in this neighborhood, that by his observa- 
tions he made the Falls 1 74 feet high, and that three officers observed 
for the same purpose, and that their greatest variance was three feet. 
It has been heretofore measured by some person who has given pub- 
licity to it, who makes it 1 56 feet. 

The three last days have been very warm and clear. This day cool, 
wind S.W. Yesterday a high wind from the S.W. made a very apparent 
change in the state of the rapids. A greater quantity of water was forced 
in the E. or American channel, as also a greater quantity from Lake 
Erie, enlarging both channels. More of the deep green water was seen 
on the Canada side, and the rapids on the American side were more 

In the evening Messrs. Douglass and Bird join me at Whitney's. 
They left their camp at Lewistown in the morning, and entered the 
river at the great chasm at that point and traversed the shore on the 
American side about 4^ miles. The survey thus far has been conducted 
under the banks of this terrific pass. Further it is beyond the power 
of man to go. The sides are of perpendicular rock from the summit of 
the bank about abreast of the sulphur spring and upwards most of the 
way to the walls. For much of the distance they traversed, the wall is 
also perpendicular & washed by the rapids, particularly in the neigh- 
borhood of the whirlpool. Above this wall, however, the bank has an 
inclination, formed as usual by debris. It is covered with thick scraggy 
pine and cedar, almost impenetrable. Thro' such places these gentlemen 
clambered and established stations to be occupied by the theodolite. 
Sometimes they were opposed by huge masses of rock that have been 
doubtless at some time the barrier to the Falls, lying in irregular shapes 
and conditions, forming immense caverns, and lofty summits. They 
would sometimes ascend these rocks with the hope of escaping from 
this abyss, but were disappointed on reaching their tops to find them 


detached rocks unconnected with the shore but at their bases. They 
made good their retreat toward night thro' an opening about one mile 
above the Devil's Hole. At the Devil's Hole there is also a place where 
a descent or ascent can be made. They returned entirely exhausted. 
Capt. Douglass thro' extreme fatigue fainted twice during the day; at 
one time he grew faint when so situated as to have been precipitated 
into the whirlpool had it not been for a cedar tree. Conscious that he 
was about to fall, he made his direction toward this tree and fell across 
it. His comrades had preceeded him and could not retrace their steps. 
A short distance below the Devil's Hole there is a path leading down, 
by which the fisherman descend to fish with nets. They take bass &c. 
which come up the river. In the eddy of Iris Island there is a good 
fishing ground for eels and cat fish. The white fish of the upper lakes 
is the most highly esteemed fish. It is salted in large quantities on Lake 
Erie, and is very fine. It needs no butter to cook it with. Its own fat 
is sufficient. It corresponds with the best shad of the Atlantic in the 
use made of it. 

Sunday, June 20. Mr. Ferguson joins us at Iris Island having the 
preceding day occupied the stations on the Canada shore thro' the 
chasm as high as about half a mile above the Devil's Hole. The last 
and uppermost stations about ]/2 a mile above this were measured by 
Capt. Douglass' pocket sextant. They were inaccessable with the 

Of the Falls, Judge Porter says that the inclination of the great bed of 
rock from Schlosser to the Fall, is toward the Canada shore: for instance 
at Schlosser, there is but 3 & 4 ft. of water, on the corresponding shore 
there is 9 & 10 feet. Of consequence, the great pressure as well as the 
great body of water is on the W. side of Iris Island & encroaching on 
the Canada shore. To verify the position he states that 35 years ago 
when that shore was first settled a road was opened on the margin of 
the river, say about 3 rods from the water. The bank has been cut away 
so much that this road has nearly disappeared. Nothing remains of it, 
but here & there a part of the causeway. It would seem that in future 
time, the whole of this water will be emptied thro' the Canada channel. 
The American Fall is comparatively shallow as well as narrow. Its dam 
is perpedicular, and its base a bed of rocks now apparent. The other 
fall projects very much from its upper strata. Its base is probably ex- 
cavated to a prodigious depth, for 300 yards below the pitch there is 
300 feet of water. Changes too are constantly observed on the W. and 
not on the E. side of Iris Island. 

Mr. Weiss and Mr. Gip, surveyors, and Mr. Gray, draughtsman of 
the British party, spend the afternoon with us. 

Monday, June 2 1 . Remain on Iris Island and in the neighborhood. 


Col. Hawkins of the 68th and Col. Evans of the 70th, with a large 
party of ladies and gentlemen from Niagara and Queenston, visit the 
island &c. In the afternoon the party arrives from Lewiston with the 
camp equipage and pitch their tents on Iris Island, the survey being 
complete within two miles from the Falls. Gen'l Porter also arrives 
from Black Rock. 

Tuesday, June 22. Spend the day in camp on Iris Island. Captn. 
Gates and officers from Fort Niagara dine in camp, and Mrs. Judge 
Porter, Mrs. Paulding & others take tea there. 

Forsyth erects this day the frame work of the stairs up the bank on 
the Canada shore. 

Much company at the Falls this day. The accommodations mis- 
erable, otherwise travellers would be induced to remain some days at 
this place. Whitney the landlord is an obliging man but he & his 
family entirely ignorant of either comforts or propriety in house keeping. 

Shells are found in abundance along the highest banks of Iris Island 
and from the surface to the water's edge. Many visitors express disap- 
pointment on witnessing the Falls. An old man by the name of Bailey 
who was formerly the guide to strangers was always mortified and 
angry if the traveller did not show surprise & gratification. On hearing 
some persons say that the Falls were not what they expected, and ask 
if they had seen all, "Why," replied the old man, "what the devil do you 
want more? Did you expect they run upward?" This is the standing 
anecdote here among the residents. 

At a blacksmith's shop by the bridge there is a nail cutting machine 
invented by ... . that will cut more than . . . (300 crossed out) 1 nails 
in one minute. The only person required is the man who holds the 
bar of iron to the knives. The nail is headed at the same time it is cut. 

Wednesday, June 23. Remain on Iris Island and in neighborhood. 
Find some handsome specimens of carb. of lime in rhomboidal chrys- 
tals, and some of quartz in nodules of coarse agate which had been 
imbedded in lime stone. The former abound in the rocks under the 
stairs and toward the Fall. On Iris Island there is the trunk & branches 
of an exceedingly old red cedar tree. Its roots are entirely decayed, and 
its trunk next the earth also appears to have been worn down or de- 
cayed. It now lodges on the next tree by its top. The body of the cedar 
is perfectly sound. Every piece of bark, and the outer coats of the tree 
appear long since to have gone. Its growth may have been of more 
than 200 years, and since then it may have stood 6 or 800 more. On 
this island, Iris Island, is a tree now bearing the mark of 1 768. There 
are older marks not legible. These old marks on trees may, long after 

1 Previously commented on. 


they have disappeared from the bark, be traced by cutting into the 
tree. Frequently they appear on the body of the tree under the bark, 
and sometimes are found far in the solid wood. Judge Porter has given 
me instances from his own experience. In the afternoon prepare for a 
fishing excursion under the foot of Iris Island. The ferryman fears to 
take us there, in the then condition of his boat, having but indifferent 
oars. Cook a snapping turtle in camp — makes pretty good soup. 

The Secretary of the Board hands me a copy of the proceedings of 
their last meeting, 14th inst., by which it appears they have adjourned 
over to the 14th of June next, to meet at the head of St. Clair River, 
Lake Huron, unless an earlier meeting should be called by either 

Thursday, June 24. Receive from Gen'l Porter a draft on the Me- 
chanics & Farmers Bank for 1 92.^^0 to the order of H. & W. Delafield, 1 
being the balance due Rich'd Delafield as draughtsman during the 
season of 1818. 2 Forward same by letter addressed to John Delafield 
Esqr. same day under care of T. Clinton to be mailed at Buffalo. A 
Mr. Brown, an English artist residing in Boston, arrives at the Falls for 
the purpose of taking all its views. 

Friday, June 25. Accompany Mrs. Judge Porter and Mrs. Paulding 
from the Falls to Fort Niagara to visit Capt. Gates & Lady; cross in the 
barge to Newark (Niagara). Are admitted to the fort on the point. 
Has a corporal's guard; found them all drunk. Is a pretty little 
work, but in bad condition. A very large work has been traced out on 
this point, to cost as is said 3 millions of dollars; this citadel was to form 
a part. It appears to command Niagara Fort. Col. Lull joined our party 
at Lewiston. Return from Fort Niagara after dinner. Leave Col. Lull 
at Capt. Leonard's. 3 Take tea with Mrs. Barton at Lewiston and reach 
camp on Iris Island to lodge, my bed at Whitney's being occupied by 
ladies & his house more than full. 

Saturday, June 26. Leave Niagara Falls (Manchester) for Buffalo. 
Take lodgings at Landen's. The steam boat Walk in the Water arrived 

1 Henry and William Delafield. 

* See list of payments in Foreign Relations. 

•Captain Richard Leonard, born in 1780, distinguished in the British service in 
Canada. Bought land and lived near the battlefield of Lundy's Lane. He was in com- 
mand of Fort Niagara when it was taken. The facts as told in the history of the times 
savor of treachery: ''His neighbors however seem one & all to think him innocent of 
crime. He is rising 50 yrs. of age: had an aged mother & children within one mile 
of the Fort & was on a visit to them when the Fort was taken. Now lives on his farm 
of 1000 acres at the 5 mile meadows, which he owned before the war. Is much em- 
baressed owing in part to expenses incurred while under arrest attending Court 
Martial at Troy. Was not tried. His son in law's misfortunes have also incumbered 
his property." 


this day from her trip to Mackinaw, having performed her route, making 
reasonable stops, in fourteen days. About 60 passengers returned in her. 
Meet at Landen's a Dr. Bigsby of the British Army Staff who was under 
instructions to explore the lakes &c. in search of mineralogical specimens, 
also to attend to the geology & icthiology of the country. His instructions 
were from the Medical Department. 

Sunday, June 27. Walk from Landen's to Gen'l Porter's and spend 
the day with Mrs. Porter and party at her house. Black Rock is 2 miles 
from Buffalo. 

Monday, June 28. In the evening return from Mrs. Porter's to 
Landen's, Buffalo. 

Tuesday, June 29. Remain at Buffalo. In the afternoon the steam 
boat sails for Detroit, heavy shower & gust of wind at time of sailing. 
At night a storm with gale from S.W. Receive letters from Col. Hawkins, 
stating his detention in N. York & answer them same day. 

Wednesday, June 30th. A heavy gale and storm of rain from S.W. 
Buffalo Creek rises suddenly 4 to 5 feet, overflowing the meadows be- 
low the hill. The bar up to the Light House under water, and the 
meadows covered as high as the foot of Landen's garden, a circum- 
stance not known before at this season of the year. In the autumn the 
water sometimes rises as high as at present during the long S.W. gales. 

At 12 o'clcock the steam boat heaves in sight on Lake Erie, making 
for a harbor at Black Rock, not being able to make headway against 
the violence of the storm. She comes to in the lee of Squaw Island, the 
craft at the rock being all on shore. Had proceeded about 70 miles up 
the lake. On a trifling change of wind the water subsides suddenly 
leaving the meadows dry. The storm continues throughout the day and 

Thursday, July 1. High wind from the S.W. and cloudy, cold. 
During this gale I am told the Falls of Niagara have assumed an ad- 
ditional grandeur from the great increase of water driven from the 
lake. So great was the quantity forced over the Fall that the water rose 
in the chasm below 15 and 20 feet, the outlet being much narrower than 
the barrier over which the water passes. 

A fish of the herring kind was seen to fall from the clouds by Capt. 
Parish and others. It was full of life and sprang two or three times from 
the ground. It was in no manner bruised, nor were any of its scales 
disturbed. They do not think it was dropped by a bird. It was too dis- 
tant from the lake to account for its reaching the clouds in any other 

Judge Miller, the commissioner appointed to hold a Treaty* with the 
Seneca Indians, arrives at Buffalo, also D. A. & T. L. and Govr. 
Ogden who are interested in the Indain Reservations which are the 
subject of a session Treaty. 


Friday, July 2. High wind from the S.W. still continues & prevents 
the steam boat sailing. The Indian Chiefs assembled at the Buffalo 
Village in council upon the subject of the Missionaries being sent among 
them. A Mr. Hyde is there teaching school & preaching. Of the latter 
great complaint is made. Red Jacket is the leader in opposition to the 
missionary party & has gained to his cause a large majority of the 
nation. Jacket is an unbeliever & assigns for reason, that if there is any 
truth in the religion of the White Men, and the good they pretend, that 
the Great Spirit would surely have given it to the Red Men too. Jacket 
is a man of acute mind & much observation. Has become of late years 
a sot, but still retains great influence in his Tribe. Mr. Warren of Troy 
and myself go to Black Rock & dine with Mrs. Porter; return in the 
evening to Buffalo. 

Saturday, July 3. Clear and high wind from S.W. The steam boat 
sails for Detroit with 100 artillerists on board under Major Stockton, 
& 60 passengers. In the afternoon accompany Judge Miller, Govr. 
Ogden, D.A. & T.L. Ogden 1 & Mr. Dudley on a fishing party to Black 
Rock. Among other fish one of a lizard kind is taken on the hook. It is 
amphibious & is called the lake alligator. Is about 9 inches long and is 
said to grow to twice that size. Preserve the lizard (Leotuus Anguinus, 
new species) . Take white and black bass, perch and pike. 

Capt. Parish, the interpreter, dines with us & relates some good 
anecdotes of Red Jacket the Buffalo Chief. When holding a Treaty with 
Col. Timothy Pickering 2 who was a favorite Comr. with Gen'l Washing- 
ton, an obstinate debate ensued between him & Red Jacket, which 
lasted two days, without coming to any conviction. The Chief, uneasy 
and tired of debate, says, "Had I but your language, Col. Pickering, 
or had you my language, so that we might meet on even ground, I 
would wind you around my finger in a moment!" "The impudent 

1 "Governor Ogden" and T. L. Ogden. Thomas Ludlow Ogden, son of Abraham 
Ogden and grandson of David Ogden. He was born in Morristown, New Jersey in 1 773, 
became a lawyer, was associated with Alexander Hamilton in his law practice, was 
counsel for the Holland Land Company holding 3,000,000 acres in western New York. 
He doubtless also cared for the great land holdings of his father in the same part of 
the state including Ogdensburg named after him. 

Aaron Ogden, son of Robert Ogden, was born at Elizabethtown, New Jersey in 
1 756. After a distinguished career as an officer in the Continental Army was elected 
to the United States Senate in 1801, and in 181 2 to be the Governor of New Jersey. 

2 Colonel Timothy Pickering, born in Salem, Mass. July 17, 1745. He was educated 
as a lawyer but early became interested in the army and rendered distinguished 
service as an officer in the War of the Revolution. Postmaster General of the United 
States 1 79 1 to 1795. Sec. of War 1795 and for a time Acting Sec. of State. United 
States Senator 1803 to 181 2. He held other offices both Federal and in the State of 


rascal!" exclaims the Com'r. Capt. Parish in explanation of Indian 
usage says that among Indians there are two ranks, the Sachems and 
the Chiefs. The Sachems hold by lineal descent on the mothers side only: 
the warriors are Chiefs by election. The Indians in this particular pre- 
serve, as far as human foresight can preserve, the lineal blood of their 
Sachems, and ascribe in vulgar phrase to the common law maxim 
of 'Tortus sequitur Ventrem." 

Sunday, July 4. Clear & more temperate than the past week, tho' 
cool, wind S.W. Remain with party at Buffalo. In the evening a large 
luminous comet is seen in the N.W. Was apparent this evening about 
3 hours, had not been seen before here. The weather had been stormy. 

Monday, July 5. Attend the Council of Indians with the Conrr. 
Morris S. Miller at the Buffalo Village about 6 miles from Buffalo, to 
hold a treaty for their relinquishment of the Reservations. Arrive at 
12 o'clock. The Council opens. Present the Com'r., myself as Sec'y, 1 
D.A. & T.L., and Govr. Ogden as claimants by title, and the Chiefs, 
Sachems and Warriors of the Six Nations as proprietors of the soil. A 
large party of ladies & many strangers. The business is opened by the 
Seneca Sachem Pollard. He formally welcomes the Comr. and the 
Agents of the Gov't, concerned. The Commission of Judge Miller was 
then read by me and interpreted by Capt. Parish. The Comr. then 
delivered his talk explaining the views of the Gov't. He told them that 
their Great Father had deputed him to meet them at their Council 
fire. That he came there to give them the advice of their Great Father 
who protected both the white men and the red men. That it was his 
wish to extend to them security & useful arts. That situated as they 
now were, his wishes could not be so well effected as if they were more 

The Comr. explaines to them, how the white men hold their reserva- 
tions by the right of title and the red men by possession. The proposi- 
tion submitted to the Chiefs, Sachems & Warriors was this: that they 
should all concentrate upon the Alleghany reservation, the title of this 
tract to be ceded to them in fee, as white men hold, or they might 
if they preferred join their red Brothers at Sandusky or settle upon 
other lands of the Territories of the U.S. Should they consent to this 
arrangement, the offer made by their Great Father was not to impair 
the price they were to receive from the proprietors, or in any manner 
effect the bargain. It was meant as a free gift & for their & the white 
men's mutual good. The present encroachments of the whites was 
handsomely pictured by the Comr. & the time predicted when they 

1 Major Delafield's Autobiography does not refer to his service as Secretary to 
this Commission. 


must be overwhelmed by the torrent of white population, if they con- 
tinued surrounded by them. They are cautioned against the artifices 
of bad men, as also against the hasty adoption of the advice of good 
white men, are admonished to reflect for themselves, to deliberate in 
council. This is the sum of an able & elegant talk from the Comr. 
After the Comr. was seated (see end of speech) Pollard, the Sachem, 
rose to reply. His speech was interpreted as follows. 

"Brothers. We have listened attentively to what your Comr. has said 
to us: in the first place to his authority by which he meets us at this 
Council, and also to the explanations he has given us of the views of the 
Great Father (The Pres't of the U.S.) relative to the affairs of his red 
children here. In doing this, Brothers, you have addressed yourselves 
principally to the Senecas. The Six Nations are present. They are our 
confederates but you speak generally to the Senecas. For myself I am 
gratified that our confederates are present and have heard what you 
have said to us. 

"You have told us that the propositions which we now hear from our 
Great F'ather have not been with him hasty propositions. He has for a 
long time deliberated. He has taken, you tell us, a full view of the in- 
terests of his white children and of his red children. In doing this the 
Great Father has sometimes addressed the Senecas & sometimes our 
confederates. He has considered the situation of his red children. He 
knows their wants, their poverty & their troubles. You have told us 
of his solicitudes for the red men, and also of the solicitude of his great 
Council during the last year. 

"You are not now to expect that we will reply to these subjects. We 
will not now talk long upon them at this time. We think it proper now 
to thank you, for what we have heard from your Comr. We thought it 
proper now to make a short reply to return you thanks, and to thank 
the President for what he has said to us. We have listened attentively 
to your talk. 

"We view it, that the Great Spirit has created all things, this Earth 
and all that is upon the Earth. 

"We rejoice that this Council has been made so public. We are 
pleased that so many white men have attended. W r e are rejoiced that 
your squaws have come with you to this Council, and we thank you 
that they are present. (Addressing himself to Mr. Ogden) The Comr. 
we have heard has not spoken solely to the red men. You are also 
interested in what our Great Father has said. The result of this Council 
interests you, as well as us. After our Brother's talk, you told us this. 
Y'ou told us you would want time to reflect upon these propositions, 
which are serious and important. That you would want time to reply, 
and would wish to meet us the day after tomorrow. Brother, we have 


had a short consultation upon your proposition. We wish to give you 
time, and we wish to have time to reflect and to hold our councils. We 
will meet you again the day after tomorrow. Brother, in what you said, 
you did not name any hour to meet. Knowing that our proceedings 
are slow & dilatory and not like yours, we beg leave, Brother, to pro- 
pose to meet you at 10 o'clock on that day." 

The Comr. having taken his seat, Mr. Ogden proposed that they 
adjourn over to the day after tomorrow, to give him time to reflect 
upon the propositions made, upon which Pollard rose & made the 
above speech. 

The Comr. then explained why he had addressed the Senecas, which 
was because his Commission appoints him to treat with the Seneca 
Nation to relinquish their Reservation. He however did in some parts 
of his talk address them all, which was explained, advising them to 
full & calm deliberations & to carry harmony with them to their 
council fire. He, after recommending them to the care of the Great 
Spirit, adjourns til Wednesday 10 o'clock. 

Tuesday, July 6. Remain at Buffalo. Very warm. Judge Gorham, 1 
a Cornr. of the part of Massachusetts to attend the Indian Treaty, ar- 

Wednesday, July 7. Proceed to the Indian Village to attend the 
Council. The Council fire was kindled by Red Jacket as follows. 

"Brothers: you will recollect that the day before yesterday, we were 
preserved in health strength and spirits to meet you at our Council 

"The Great Spirit has protected us to the present time, and we are 
thankful again to meet you. You will recollect, Brothers, at that time 
we listened with attention to what we heard from the Comr. and from 
our Great Father (the President) thro' his Comr. As this Council was 
called by the voice of our Great Father, you barely told us at that time 
of his views, and made known to us what care he had for his red chil- 
dren. You further promised us however that the Yorkers (meaning the 
proprietors) had communications for us. We now welcome you to this 
Council, and are ready to hear your communications. 

"We see here our brother from Massachusetts (Judge Gorham). He 
is welcome to our Council. We are ready to hear him. Brothers, we wish 
you to open your minds to us. Let us hear frankly all that you have to 
say, that we may be ready to answer in reply." 

Mr. Gorham took his seat. His Commission was read, when he 
address'd the Council, approving of the propositions made by the 

1 Benjamin Gorham, born in Charlestown, Mass. in 1775, died in 1855, a member 
of Congress and a distinguished lawyer. 


President. Mr. D. A. Ogden then spoke, and offered on the part of the 
proprietors to agree to the President's plans, having closed an able 
speech, explanatory of his title & the history of the Reservations. 

Red Jacket speaks to his Tribe, tells them they must deliberate in 
Council before they reply, and addressing the Council, says: 

"We have now heard our Great Father, and we have heard Mr. 
Ogden. We must now take time to reflect upon the whole. When we 
are ready to meet again at the Council fire: we will send you word. 
We are slow, and the subjects are important; we have nothing further 
to kindle this Council fire." Adjourned. 

Thursday, July 8. Clear and very warm. Dine & spend evening 
at Gen'l Porter's with the party attending the Indian Treaty. 

Friday, July 9th. The Council met at the Buffalo upper village, 
opened by Henry Abeel, a Seneca, by the usual welcome, when Red 
Jacket, a chief of the Seneca Nation, rose & delivered the following 
speech, first addressing the Commissioner Judge Miller: 

"Brother. We understand that you have been appointed by our 
Great Father, the President, to make these communications to us. 
We thank the Great Spirit for this pleasant day given us to reply and 
we beg you to listen. 

"Brother. Previous to y'r arrival at this Council fire, we understood 
that our Great Father has appointed a Comr. to meet us. On y'r arrival 
you produced y'r Commission, and after it was explained, you related 
the object of your appointment, & the wish of the Pres't in sending you 
to the Council fire of the Six Nations. We do not doubt, that the sealed 
document you exhibited contained the words of our Great Father. 
When first informed of y'r appointment, we expected that you were 
coming forward to meet us on a different subject. Since the war of the 
revolution, we have held various treaties with our white Brothers, and 
in this same manner we have entered into various compacts and agree- 
ments. We have made various speeches, and these things are all known 
to our Great Father and are lodged with him. We perfectly understand 
them all. The same interpreters were then present. In consequence of 
what has taken place during the late war, we made known to our Great 
Father that we wished to have a talk. Application was made by our 
interpreter, but it was not complied with. We sent a messenger to bright- 
en the chain of friendship with our Great Father, but he would not 
meet around the Council fire, and we were disappointed. We now 
expected that the Comr. he has sent, came forward to brighten the 
chain of friendship, and to renew former engagements. 

"W r hen we made a treaty at Canadaiga (1 794 Pickering's) we thought 
it was to be permanent, and to stand between us and the U.S. forever. 

"After several treaties had been entered into under our Great 


Father, Genl. Washington, large delegations of the Six Nations were 
invited to meet him. We went and met Genl. Washington in Philadel- 
phia. We kindled a Council fire. A Treaty was then made, and Genl. 
Washington declared it should be permanent between the red and the 
white Brothers; that this Treaty should be laid upon the greatest rocks, 
be spread upon the largest rocks, upon rocks that nothing could under- 
mine, that it should be spread upon the largest rocks exposed to the 
view of all. 

"Brother. We shall now see what has been done by the United States. 
After this Treaty of friendship had been formed and declared to be as 
lasting as the rocks, I then said that I did not doubt but what the U.S. 
would faithfully perform their contract. But I told our white Brothers 
at that time that I feared eventually they would feel a wish to disturb 
those contracts. You white Brothers have a faculty to burst the stoutest 
rocks. On our part we would not have disturbed those Treaties. A short 
time after our interview at Philadelphia, with our Great Father, Genl 
Washington, a Treaty was made at Canadaiga, by which we widened 
our former engagements with our white Brothers and added some new 
ones. The Comr. (Col Pickering) then told us that this Treaty should be 
binding & last without alteration for two lives. We wished to extend 
the term much farther, and I then told the Comr. that the Six Nations 
would wish to make the Treaty permanent, and establish a lasting chain 
of friendship. That on our part we wished the Treaty to last as long as 
'trees grow and the waters run.' Our Brother then told us he would 
agree to it. 

"Brother. I commenced reminding you what had taken place 
between the U.S. and the confederates of the Six Nations, and have 
last spoken of the Treaty of Canadaiga. At the close of that Treaty it 
was agreed (that Treaty being as strong as by my former comparisons I 
have explained) that if any difficulties should occur, if any Monster 
should come across the chain of friendship, that we should unite as one, 
to remove those difficulties, to drive away the Monster, we will, in 
such case, go hand in hand and continue the chain. So it was agreed. 

"Brother. We discovered many years ago a cloud rising in the way 
of peace and friendship. We heard such things from different quarters, 
from different persons, and at different times; and thought that the 
time was not far distant when the present difficulty would burst upon 

"Brother. During the late war, we intended to take no part. Yet re- 
siding within the limits of the U. S. & with the advice of Genl. Porter 
we agreed around our Council fire, that it was right, and we took a part. 
We thought it would tend to promote friendship with our white 
Brothers to aid the arms of the U. S., and to make our present seats 


still stronger. We took part in the war for these purposes. What were 
the effects? W r e lost many of our Warriors. We spilt our blood in a cause 
between you and a people not of our own color. 

"Brother. These transactions may probably be new to you, but they 
are not new to your Government. Records of these transactions are with 
our Great Father the President. You have come for a different purpose 
than the one we expected. Your coming is to tell us of our situation, 
to tell us about our Reservations, to tell us the opinion of the President 
that we must change our old customs for new ones; that we must con- 
centrate ourselves, in order to derive the fair means you offer of civiliza- 
tion and improvement in the arts of agriculture. 

"Brother. At the Treaty of Canadaiga, we were promised on the 
part of your Government that different kinds of mechanics, blacksmiths 
and carpenters should be sent among us to improve us in these arts. 
And we were promised that farmers with their families should be sent, 
that our women might learn to spin. We agreed to accept them. We 
even made application for these benefits. We were told that the age 
of our children was not suitable, and none of them were taught. The 
Treaties have promised us these things. Neither farmers or mechanics 
have been sent among us. 

"Brother. We had thought that all the promises made by one Presi- 
dent were handed down to the next. We do not change our Chiefs as 
you do. Since these Treaties were made you have had several changes of 
your President, and we do not understand why the Treaty made by 
one President is not binding upon the other. On our part we expect 
to comply with our engagements. 

"Brother. You told us, where the Country was surrounded by whites, 
and in possession of Indians, when it was unproductive, not liable to 
taxes, nor to make roads and other improvements, it was time to change. 
As for taxing of Indians, this is extraordinary. This was never heard of 
before, since the first settlement of America. The land is ours, by the 
gift of the Great Spirit. How can you tax it? We can make such roads, 
as we want, and we did so, when the land was all ours. 

"Brother. We are improving in our condition. See these large flocks 
of cattle! Look at those fences! These things were not seen formerly. 
We are surrounded by the whites, from them we can readily obtain 
cattle, and by what we procure from them we enlarge our improve- 
ments. Now that we are confined to small Reservations, we can readily 
make the roads we want, and assist in making public improvements. 
Look back to the first settlement of this Country, and after that, look 
at our present condition under the U.S. Under the British Govt, we 
continued our growth in numbers and in strength. What has now be- 
come of the Indians who extended themselves to the salt waters? They 


have become few and are driven back, while you have been growing 
numerous and powerful. This land is ours from the God of Heaven. It 
was given us; we cannot make land. Driven back and reduced as we 
now are, you still wish to cramp us more & more. These lands are ours, 
given by the Heavenly Father. You tell us of a preemptive right; such 
men you say own one Reservation, such another. But they are all ours, 
ours from the top to the bottom. If Mr. Ogden should tell us he has 
come from Heaven, with the flesh on his bones as he now is, & say that 
the Heavenly Father has given him a title, we might then believe him. 

"The President has sent us word, you say, that it is our interest to 
dispose of our Reservations. You tell us there is a fine tract of land at 
Alleghany. This too is very extraordinary. Our feet have covered every 
inch of that Reservation. Such a communication as this has never before 
been made to us in any of our Treaties. The President must have been 
disordered in mind, or he would not offer to lead us off by the arms to 
the Alleghany Reservation. 

You have heard of the Treaty we made with the U.S. Here is the 
belt of wampum that confirmed that Treaty. This holds our hands to- 
gether. Here too is the parchment. You know its contents; I will not 
open it. Now the Tree of friendship is decaying; its limbs are fast falling 
off, and you are at fault. 

"Formerly we called the British our Brothers. Now we call the 
President our Father. Probably among you are gentlemen with families 
of children. We consider ourselves the children of the President. What 
then would be your feelings, were you told your children were to be 
cast on a naked rock, there to protect themselves. The different claims 
you tell us of, I cannot understand. We were placed here by the Great 
Spirit, for purposes known to him. You can have no right to interfere. 
You told us that we had large and many unproductive tracts of land. 
We do not view it so. Our Seats we consider small, and if left here long 
by the Great Spirit, we shall stand in need of them. We shall want 
timber. Land after the improvement of many years, wears out. W T e 
shall want to renew our fields, and we do not think there is any land 
in any of our Reservations but what is useful. Look at the white people 
around us, and back. You are not cramped for seats. They are large. 
Look at that man (pointing to Mr. Ellicott). If you want to buy, apply 
to him. He has land enough to sell. We have none to part with. You 
laugh. But do not think I trifle, I am sincere. Do not think we are hasty 
in making up our minds. We have had many Councils, and thought 
for a long time upon this subject, and we will not part with any, not 
one of our Reservations. We recollect that Mr. Ogden handed his 
speech to you; therefore I have spoken to you. Now I shall speak to 
Mr. Ogden. 


"Brother. You recollect, when you first came to this ground, you 
told us you had bought the preemptive right, a right to purchase 
given you by the government. Recollect my reply. I told you you were 
unfortunate in buying. You said you would not disturb us. And I told 
you then, as long as I lived, you must not come forward to explain 
that right. You have come, but I am living. See me before you. You 
have heard our reply to the Comr. sent by the President. And I again 
tell you that one and all, Chiefs and Warriors, we are of the same mind. 
We will not part with any of our Reservations. Do not make your ap- 
plication anew, in any other shape. Let us hear no more of it — and 
let us part as we met, in friendship. 

"You discover white people on our Reservations. It is my wish & 
the wish of all of us to remove every white man. We can educate our 
children. Our Reservation is small. The white people are near us. Such 
as wish can send their children to the white people's schools. 

"The schoolmaster and the preacher must withdraw. The distance 
is short for those who wish to go after them. We wish to get rid of all 
the whites. Those who are now among us make disturbances. We wish 
our Reservation clear of them." 

Govr. Ogden, of N. Jersey, replied to Red Jacket, to the following 
effec t: "Sachems Chiefs and Warriors of the Seneca Nation. We under- 
stand from the message of our Great Father that he wish'd you to get 
more together, that he might protect you: that you are not what you 
were, and that a different course of conduct must be adopted in regar 1 
to the red people or they would soon be extinguished. 

"These things were meant in friendship, not enmity, in love not 
hatred. Brothers, we knew these things before. Here they are contained 
in these documents, set down for your good, not for your hurt. You 
knew them before the Comr. told them to you. We came to hear you 
speak freely upon these subjects. Your minds are as free as the winds. 
We meant not to control them. We are sorry if we have given you 
trouble or raised unpleasant feelings. We came to speak freely and in 
friendship. We have not wished to hurry you. When a proposition is 
made for the good of a party, we think the more it is thought of it, 
the better it will be liked; and so we think of this. We make fair & 
honorable offers, not a rocky Alleghany, but to buy what you do not 
want. We say nothing of Alleghany or Cattaraugus, but there is more 
land than you want — Money at interest is better than lands unculti- 
vated. We said you might all remain if you wished. We will give you 
4000 dlls. a year; and your women and children will then be made com- 
fortable & free from want. This was friendship not hate. Stay or go; 
we say here is a free election for you. 

"Brother, I am known to be the friend of red men, among your white 


Brothers. I came here in that character. To my judgement, I believed, 
where the whites are settled, and the game is all gone, the bow & 
arrow should give way to the plough and the spade. At Sandusky, I 
was informed, there was good hunt, bears, beavers, raccoons. At 
Catteraugus good corn fields, and at other places good hunt. Now 
you are told to choose of these good things — is there any harm in that? 
I thought this reasonable. If those who come after us make proposi- 
tions, I hope they may be more reasonable, but I doubt it — 

"Brothers. This plan I thought most just. From past time, til now, we 
know the whites were made for toil and labor, the red people to delight 
in the chase and hunt. These lands would be cultivated by the whites, 
and you would live upon the fruits of their toil. This is right. 

"Brothers. I hope you see that this is meant in friendship, would be 
sorry if your feelings were hurt. Brothers, let this turn as it may, I shall 
be your friend. I always was, and always shall be the friend of red 
people. It is probable I shall never see you again. I am old. I must 
sell my right — I hope you will meet a better friend, but I don't believe 
it. Brothers, I hope we will part in love & friendship. Whenever I can 
do you good I will — but never hurt. 

"Much has been said about Mr. Pickering's Treaty. To speak of tiiat 
belongs to the Agent of the U.S. I am no Comr. I only say I do remem- 
ber that in that Treaty it is said the Senecas may enjoy the Reserva- 
tions until they chose to sell — It was plain then, that it was expected 
you would be ask'd to sell. 

"You say Mr. Ellicott has land to sell. If he (the Commissioner) went 
to treat with him, he would not be affronted, as you seem to be. 
Brothers. Your Father the President never meant bul to brighten the 
chain of friendship. You did him injustice, when you said his mind was 
disordered. Brothers, but one word more: in my opinion you have not 
understood the Agent's communication from your Great Father. It 
belongs to him to explain. You had better go and see the President. 
You have misapprehended him. He will set you right, and remove 
from you and your children false impressions." 

The Comr. Miller then explained to the Nation that they had mis- 
understood him when they said they were to be taxed. Of Mr. Picker- 
ing's Treaty he said he knew it well. Of any promises made at that time, 
not contained in the treaty, he knew nothing. He then ask'd if anything 
further had been misunderstood, that it be explained. Upon which 
Red Jacket replied that he knew of nothing that wanted explanation 
— he hopes that Mr. Ogden understands that they will not sell a single 
foot of land. If he does not, it wants explanation. 

There being no further business before the Council, the Comr. 
brightened the chain of friendship by a valedictory and covered the 
Council fire. 


After the Council had adjourned Joeny King, a Seneca Chief, in 
behalf of the Christian Party, thro' the interpreter, addressed the 
following questions to the Comr. The whole Nation was present and 
listened with the utmost attention to the question, and with remark- 
able interest and respect to the answer by the Comr. Question: "Do 
you, or do you not, advise us & recommend that we should keep the 
Sabbath day and refrain from labor on that day? This is the question 
which now agitates our Councils and has caused much disturbance. 
We ask because we observe a difference among the white people. The 
Alleghany Quakers and others differ. By this day's talk you have seen 
that we are to be cut off from white people's schools & preachers. We 
have been told and we think we should undergo a change, should learn 
to cultivate the fields as white men do." 

The Comr. finding that a direct answer would increase the party 
spirit now existing, because he must side with one party, replied 
that he did not answer them in his public capacity; he had no instruc- 
tions upon the subject. He alone was responsible, not the Government, 
for the opinion he should give. The President does not interfere among 
his white children upon matters of conscience. He permits all to wor- 
ship the Great Spirit as they please. He acknowledges no preference 
of sects. The religion of his white people however is generally the 
Christian religion. His people believe generally in the redemption of 
the world thro' Jesus Christ. They have no privileges over the Jew, 
Turk or Hottentot. "Standing as I do here, I cannot give a preference 
to any one description of Indians. The President gives protection to 
all. He will protect the Pagan & the Christian Party. The plan of 
improvement suggested by Joeny King I consider efficacious." 

Saturday, July ioth. Remain at Buffalo. A message was sent to 
Judge Miller from Pollard (Sachem) informing him that 13 of their 
Chiefs were now in Council & would wish to make a communication 
to him relative to the business of yesterday. In the afternoon we rec'd 
a deputation of Chiefs, to wit: Joeny King, Pollard, Destroy Tower, 
Jim Roberson, White Seneca, Capt. William Rentup, Capt. Johnson; 
and Pollard spoke as follows: 

"You recollect what took place yesterday in Council. The speaker 
(Red Jacket) first made a reply to you, and then to the proprietors. 
You must have discovered something in that reply which was not cor- 
rect — which was improper. You must have observed at the different 
meetings, that there was a division among us. This is true. It has been 
so a long time. We, altho' a minority, have been reflecting how to adopt 
the advice of good white men, and how it could be possible that you 
should have told us anything that did not come from the President, 
our Great Father, if what you said came from him. Altho' you might 


have discovered that such an intimation was given. The speaker 
yesterday acknowledged your authority, and that your commission 
contained the President's words, but he did not admit that your sub- 
sequent words came from our Great Father. One sentence hurt us. 
The speaker said that even our Great Father, the President, must have 
been disordered in mind, to &c. This sentence made us very unhappy. 
Another expression of his was very extraordinary, one that we are not 
accustomed to. He said that if Mr. Ogden should come from Heaven, 
with life & flesh on his bones, and tell us that he had best title, we 
might believe him. 

"This we as Christians think very wrong and it hurt us very much. 
After the Council dispersed the followers of the speaker collected around 
him, and took him to task for these things. They proposed that this 
should be made known, and apology should be made for him. Speaker 
said, 'No, it has gone forth, let it stand.' This gives us an opportunity 
to come forward. In another thing he behaved improperly. He told 
you of many Treaties, down to Pickering's; coming to that, he show'd 
the wampum in confirmation, and the parchment, but said he would 
not open the parchment, as you had a copy at Washington and had 
misrepresented it here. This we consider rude and indecent. He spoke 
of our Great Father the President, calling him President. We call him 
and view him as Father, friend & protector. The speaker has attempted 
an explanation of the disordered mind of the President, & made as 
we think the matter still worse, because he casts imputations upon the 
Quakers and others who have been long praying for our good. We view 
your Comr. as coming from a Father to his children. Your advice, to 
concentrate & improve in agriculture, we approve. We see that the 
time has come that we should change our condition, and attend to 
husbandry. We all agreed however to what the speaker said about 
parting with the land, and we all agreed that his harsh language was 
rude and improper. We took a view of the President's wish that 
we should concentrate, and we all thought it right not to part with 
the lands. Our motive for now calling upon you is to let you know 
our minds and feelings. We the Senecas are divided. The Tuscororas 
are all united & wish to receive instruction & civilization. The Alle- 
ghanys are divided, but principally with our party receiving instruc- 
tion from the Quakers. When I look back among our forefathers, I see 
nothing to admire, nothing I should follow, nothing to induce me to 
live as they did. On the contrary, to enjoy life I find we must change 
our condition. We who are present have families & children we respect; 
we wish them to be enlightened and instructed if we have not been, 
that their eyes may be opened, that they see the light if we have 
not. We are getting old, and cannot receive the instruction we wish our 


children to. We wish our children to know how to conduct business 
after we are dead and gone, are covered with the dust; they will bless 
us for giving them instruction that our Fathers had not given us. The 
Tuscaroras have for a long time received instruction, and they are 
going on improving. They see the advantage and their children are 
enjoying it. These communications we wish our Father, the President, 
to know, and hereafter when he makes communications to the Senecas 
we wish to have them made to us the Christian Party, & we will at 
all times be happy to hear from him in this way. This we think will 
have a good effect & be a lesson to our children. We are willing to 
receive instructions from such persons that our Father may send 
among us, & will adopt his advice, because we see that following 
Indian habits, we must inevitably decay and sink to nothing. We are 
sensible that we cannot remain independent, and would therefore wish 
to undergo a gradual change. For instance: in case of crime now, we 
are not independent; we are punished and this is right. 

"One cause of division among us, is that one party will school their 
children and another will not. Another cause is placing white men 
upon our lands as tenants. I did so because advised by a white friend, 
and to show our people how the white men farmed the land." 

Red Jacket & Henry Abeel were the only persons who dissented from 
making apology. The Com'r replied to Pollard's talk. 

Sunday, July 1 1 . Remain at Buffalo. Morning early some rain, day 
clear and pleasant, the four previous days very warm. Wind S.W. 

Monday, July 12. Early in morning some rain. Clear wind S.W. 
Judge Miller leaves Buffalo. In the afternoon accompany Judge Ogden 
and party to the lake shore, crossing the Buffalo creek at ferry about 
11^ mile up the creek. The land across the creek is very good & well 
timbered. There is 15 ft. water until you come to the bend just above 
Pratt's fern', where there is but 6 ft. Mr. Fulton's plan, Judge Ogden 
says, was to bring the canal to the lake at this neighborhood, because 
here a harbor may be constructed. They say here, because the bottom 
of the lake is clay and not sand. It is however an open bay, as much 
exposed as the sea shore at Long Branch, and a harbor could alone be 
constructed at an immoderate expense. Judge Ogden has purchased 
the tract lying S. & W. of the Reservation to the lake, about 1000 acres, 
so as to complete their plot when they get in possession of the Indian 
lands. The company is also interested in these 1000 acres. Indians are 
paid 6000 dlls. for their quota. Afternoon cool, cloudy, wind N., a severe 
hail storm about 18 miles east of Buffalo, not felt here. 

Tuesday, July 13. Clear and pleasant tempe. The proprietors of the 
Indian Reservations (Ogdens) leave Buffalo. Visit the camp at Can- 
jocquaddy Creek. Evening cool. 

Wednesday, July 14. Remain at Buffalo. 


Thursday, July 15. Proceed to Black Rock, and set out with Mrs. 
Gen'l Porter, Mrs. Cuthbert and Miss Field on a jaunt to the Falls &c. 
Cross the river at the Gen'l's house, sending the carriage over at the 
ferry. Stop at Palmer's & are disappointed in reaching Col. Hale's 
camp on Grand Island, they not seeing our signals. Stop at Wallace's 
at Chippewa. Wallace says he saw a few nights ago a very brilliant 
lunar rainbow over the Falls at midnight. It was about full moon and 
an exceeding bright night. Lodge at Queenstown at the Stone House 
kept by Wynn, a miserable, dirty place, but said to be the best. At the 
Falls we found Lord Dalhousie, 1 Gov'r of New Brunswick, and suite. 
They occupied the whole of Forsyth's house, so that we made no stop. 
Miss Field and myself attempted to reach the table rock by a short 
cut from above and after travelling thro' the swampy ground and up 
to our knees in mud & water, were obliged to retreat without effecting 
our purpose. A shower had made this pass more wet than usual. 

Friday, July 16. Leave Queenstown with party and proceed to 
Fort George & Newark. Examined the Fort. Under the Flag Staff is 
deposited the body of Gen'l Brock 2 who fell at Queenstown. This 
officer was much beloved in the Canadas & objections were made by 
the inhabitants when his friends sent to remove his body to the lower 
Province. It was permitted to remain. Earl Dalhousie embarked in the 
steam boat, Frontenac, for York where he was to meet the Duke of 
Richmond. We crossed this ferry to Fort Niagara, found there a party 
of officers and their ladies from Sacket's Harbor. Make our visit short & 
proceed to Lewiston. 3 The day previous a deserter from Fort George 
swimming across the river was pursued by the Serg't Major in an armed 
boat. He had swam more than halfway across when a boat from our 
shore put out to save him, upon which the British fired upon their 
deserter. The shot it is said struck the American shore, where stood an 
artillerist, about half drunk. He then commenced firing with his musket 
upon the British boat & fired three shots, all of which struck very 7 nigh 
the Serg't Major. The deserter was taken however before he reached 
the shore and thus ended a skirmish that might have led to serious 
difficulties. The British Serg't. Major told us the story at Fort George 
without any coloring or remark, and I found it to be true as impartially 
told by the American officers. From Lewiston we proceeded to the 

1 George Ramsay, Earl of Dalhousie, born in 1770 and died March 21, 1838. In 
1 81 9 appointed Governor General of British North America. He left Canada in 1828. 

2 General Sir Isaac Brock, born in 1769 and killed in the battle of Niagara in 181 2. 

3 The work on the Niagara River closed on 20th of Nov. 1818, three or four hundred 
miles of boundary having been surveyed, and "upwards of 1500 islands." (Porter to 
John Quincy Adams, Sect: of State, Black Rock, Dec. 8, 1818, Mss. in National 
Archives) . 


Falls, Manchester, and Miss Field and myself spend our time til it is 

dark in viewing the wonders of the place, to which I find I always 

return with increased pleasure. The ladies remain at Judge Porter's 
and I find a bed at Whitney's. 

Expenses on Public Acct. Incurred During Season of 1819 

May 25 Portage of baggage to Steam Boat .50 

" " Steamboat fare from N. York to Albany & tax 8. 

" 26 Portage of baggage at Albany .50 

" 27 Skinners tavern Bill at Albany 1.25 

" 28 Stage fare Schenectady from Albany 1. 

" 28 Breakfast at Schenectady .50 

" 28 Stage fare from Schenectady to Utica 6. 

" 28 Dinner .50 
" 30th Board & Ldg at Baggs Utica 2 days 

& 3 nights waiting for Stage 4. 

" 30 Stage fare from Utica to Watertown 6. 

" 31 Breakfast at Trenton .50 

" 3 1 Dinner at Martinburgh .50 

" 31 Supr lodg and breakfast at Watertown 1.25 

June 1 Stage fare from Watertown to S. Harbor 1. 

" 3 Mrs. Farlons Tavern bill at Harbor for 3 dys 4. 

" For Stores put on board Lady of Lake 6. 

" 6 th Expenses at Youngs town supr lodg 1.75 


bro over 43 .25 

June 7 Breakfast at Lewistown -37/^ 

" Wagon hire from Youngstown to the Falls Goat Island 2. " 

" Dinner and liquor .62^ 

" Wagon hire from Goat Island to Black Rock 3. " 

Toll at Tonawanta Creek .2 1 

Expenses returning to Camp 4. " 
17th For storage at Niagara and transportation of Camp 

equipage from thence to Manchester 11." 

25th Whitneys for board & lodg 12 dys 15. " 

" 26th Stage fare from Camp to Buffalo 2. " 

" Breakfast & dinner this day .87^ 

10 I. Bery for board &c at Black Rock 4.25 

25 Postage on pub: acct. -87^ 

20.55 f° r transportation & storage of box of books at Baions store 
Sackets Harbor belonging to Col. Hawkins. 

July 15 pd Mr Landen 20 dlls. 

July 20 pd Mr Landen 25 dlls. 



July 7, i8ig to May 18, 1820 

Saturday, July 17, 1819. At Manchester on a jaunt with Mrs. 
Gen'l Porter, Mrs. Cuthbert and Miss Field. Leave the ladies, under 
care of Judge Porter to show them the island, Falls &c. and set out with 
Mrs. Davidson of Geneva and another lady & gentleman, by name 
unknown, on an expedition to the foot of Iris Island between the Falls. 
Embark at the foot of the American stairs in a leaky skiff with two good 
oars and two bad ones. Whitney steers with a paddle, myself, Marvin 
the ferryman and the stranger, man the oars. We first make the 
Canada shore, when we are obliged to bail boat. The ladies are not 
alarmed and very persevering. Proceed up this shore to about Forsythe's 
stairs, when having refitted we cross for the island; fall below the 
island and about 50 ft. below the Riband Fall, and under the ledge of 
rocks by the American Fall. Here we attempt to stem the current. 
Finding it impossible to make head way with a boat badly fitted and 
one third full of water, we conclude to bear away for the Canada shore 
and make another attempt. Having cleared the boat & all things in 
readiness, we again start, but again fall below and into the rapids of 
the American Fall close under the reef of rocks that base that fall. Exert 
every nerve to stem the torrent, but in vain. Again make the Canada 
shore. Finding the courage of the ladies to continue & the crew still 
full of perseverance, I insist upon their making one other attempt in 
the manner I advise. Having rested, the boat is carried along the shore 
as high as we can get her and very near a heavy rapid, above which it 
was not safe to go. 

From this point we again embark in fine cheer. We again fall a few 
feet below the eddy of the island, but gaining new strength from the 
near approach, we made an exertion of every nerve and reached the 
desired spot. Thus, after three attempts, we succeeded in landing at a 
spot where human feet had seldom trod before and where certainly 
females never trod til now. We found a heavy surf beating on the shore, 
which at another time and place we might have thought a danger, 
but eager to land we sprung on shore careless of the waves, and having 
secured our boat proceeded to examine the mysteries of this unknown 
spot. The rocks that have fallen from above have formed a plane, at 


the usual inclination, of about ioo feet perpendicular height. These 
are easily surmounted, when you arrive at the base of a perpendicular 
cliff of more than ioo feet of solid rock, above which is 30 or 40 ft. of 
earth covering the island at this end. The breadth of the island is here 
about . . . feet, and you may walk with ease to the cataract on either 
side. On the American side you cannot go under the sheet of water 
on account of a steep cliff of rock upon which you must pass to reach 
it, making it a difficult and dangerous passage. On the other side the 
spray was so thick that nothing could be seen behind the cataract. 
The formation around indicates an easy pass behind this sheet when 
the wind drives the spray to the Canada shore. There is to be found 
under this island many rich specimens of chrystals of the lime forma- 
tion, the rhomboidal & dog-tooth chrystals prevail, and some cavities 
of the lime stone are filled with rich specimens of the laminated selenite. 
I found and have preserved the different minerals under this island. 

After remaining here about iy 2 hours we re-embarked, having been 
amply compensated for our labor. On approaching the American 
stairs we discovered the friends of the party collected to welcome our 
return from an expedition heretofore thought hazardous & as we had 
failed twice in getting there and been absent for some time their anxiety 
was considerable for our safety. To reach the foot of Iris Island, it is 
necessary to ascend as high on the Canada shore as the rapids will 
permit. You may then in a proper boat well-manned easily make the 
eddy of Iris Island and avoid dropping down so low as to fall into united 
current of both falls, which was our case each attempt. It is contem- 
plated by Judge Porter to drop a chain ladder to the foot of this island. 
He intends to form one of links about one foot in length and, by cross 
bars, make a ladder for the adventurous traveller to visit this interest- 
ing place. The view of the Falls is more limited than might be supposed 
from this position. They are obscured from you by an impenetrable 
and constant spray. The partial view, however, is grand beyond de- 
scription and richly repays the fatigue of getting there. With the 
present boat and such a crew as accident may put in her, I would dis- 
suade all persons from making the attempt to visit the foot of Iris 
Island. On my return I found the party I had accompanied to Man- 
chester anxiously waiting my arrival, and prepared to continue the 
jaunt homeward. Having loaded the carriage with a goodly weight of 
minerals, we took leave of Judge Porter and family and of my interest- 
ing as well as beautiful companion in danger (Mrs. Davidson), and 
made the best of our way for Black Rock. About 8 in the evening we 
reached the General's house — all much delighted with our jaunt. Re- 
main there this night. 

Sunday, July 18. Visit the gentlemen in camp at Caijochquadoz 


Creek 1 and remain to dine with them, return to take leave of Mrs. 
Porter and friends and in the evening Messrs. Bird & Ferguson go 
with me to Buffalo. Find there our friends from Sacket's Harbor, 
Worth, Heileman, ladies & sisters, &c, &c. The comet 2 is said to be 
so far North as not to set to us. It is apparent until daylight. 

Monday, July 19. Clear and pleasant, wind S.W. Dine with Mrs. 
Porter & meet there the officers & their ladies from Sacket's Harbor. 
The steam boat Walk in the W'ater gets under way for Detroit. Her 
towing line parts and she drops down below Gen'l Porter's house. 
A new hawser is prepared, kept afloat by four boats, and with seven 
yokes of oxen she is drawn up the rapids, her steam assisting. At night 
return to Buffalo, with difficulty avoiding Mrs. Porter's hospitable so- 
licitations to remain. Draw on H. & W. Delafield 3 this day for one 
hundred dollars in favor of J. B. Stuart who supplies me with current 
paper here. Pay a judgement recovered against Majr. Worth at his 
request for 40 dlls. 

By the steam boat Genl. Porter sends to Erie requesting that the 
schooner Ghent be ordered down to transport our party to the islands 
opposite Sandusky, Capt. Deacon having offered this service. 

Tuesday, July 20. Clear and pleasant, Tempe. mode. Remain at 
Buffalo. Advise H. & W. Delafield by this evening's mail of my draft 
on them in favor of J. B. Stuart for 100 dlls., and forward them at same 
time a draft on Col. G. Hawkins to their order for same amount. 

Wednesday, July 21. Clear, very warm. In the evening walk to 
Black Rock & spend evening at Majr. Fraser's; sleep at camp. The 
survey is completed for a short distance into Lake Erie and the party 
now waits for a public vessel, the Ghent from Erie, to take them to the 
islands in the lake. 

Thursday, July 22. Clear & pleasant, wind S.W. Leave the camp 
after breakfast in company with Messrs. Douglass, Ferguson & Bird 
upon a mineralogical excursion to the lake shore near Fort Erie. The 
shore of the lake at this point consists of horizontal strata of lime stone, 
extending as far as the eye can reach into the lake. In these rocks are a 
variety of singular formations. The most common are cavities, round 
in shape, filled, in some instances coated, with a madrepore, like a 
honey-comb, in the crevices of which are sometimes seen little sparks 
of quartz. Sometimes they are empty, and sometimes filled with a 
carbonate of lime. It may be remarked that they generally are found 
with one end drawing to a point, like the thick end of the clam. There 

1 Carjochquadoz Creek. 

1 The Comet. Probably Pons-Winnecke. 

* Henry and William Delafield. 


are also in these rocks numerous nodules imbedded resembling oysters 
— a variety of petrifactions shooting thro' the rocks probably madre- 
pores, that in the solid rock resemble & are called by the laborers 
about this, worms. When they extend beyond and upon the surface 
of the rock they look like coral. Specimens of each kind are preserved. 
Appearances of petrified eels, as called, but probably madrepores, are 
to be seen, but are not to be procured without the chisel. The forma- 
tion of rock corresponds with that on the opposite side of the lake. Up 
the Buffalo Creek are extensive ledges of a coarse, slaty stone. When 
first broken, they emit an unpleasant sulphurous smell and are de- 
composed on exposure to the atmosphere. They have been drawn 
up for building stone, but in the hand of the mason will crumble 
to small pieces. Muscle shells and scales of fish are found petrified in 
this slate stone. 

Return from Erie to Buffalo in the afternoon. 

Friday, July 23. Wry warm and sultry, at noon light breeze from 
W.S.W., hazy. Afternoon wind E. & S.E., but very warm. Remain at 
Buffalo. Messrs. Douglass and De Russy 1 spend afternoon with me. 

Saturday, July 24. Wind E., very warm and cloudy. Messrs. 
Fraser & DeRussy spend afternoon with me. Evening cloudy, much 
lightning but no rain; warm. 

Sunday, July 25. Clear, wind S.W.; warm. At noon the U.S. 
Schooner Ghent arrives to carry our party up the lake. She drops 
down to Black Rock. J'b. Le Roy, Mrs. Newbold & Miss Caroline 
LeRoy arrive at Buffalo & leave in the afternoon. Visit Gen'l Porter 
at Black Rock; large party there. In the evening the steam boat ar- 
rives from Detroit with 40 passengers, among them a party of young 
men on a visit to the Falls, or, as they said, to take recreation by getting 
into the country; the first travellers for pleasure probably from that 
quarter to this. Return to Buffalo with the steam boat passengers. 
Night cloudy. Mr. D. Colden comes in the steam boat from his mission 
to Tennessee to present Gen'l Jackson with the gold box & freedom of 
the City of N. York voted by the corporation — and other passengers 
from the western states on their way to N. York. 

WYite to Col. Hawkins advising him of my intention to return, if I 
should not hear from him. Gen'l Porter tells me the secretary will give 
notice of any meeting that may be ordered. 

Monday, July 26. Rain, wind E. & S.E. The grain is in many 

1 Major Louis G. de Russy, born in 1796, died 1864. Graduated West Point 18 14. 
Became a planter in Louisiana, an engineer, a member of the State Senate and a 
Major General of militia. He joined the Confederate Army in the Civil War. He was 
appointed a topographer to the American Commission on the boundary in 181 9. 


places cut; the Country in great want of rain, continues to rain through- 
out the day. Among the wonders of the day was to me an hermaphro- 
dite horse. It was rode by a boy peddling green peas & stopt at Lan- 
den's. I had only the rumor for the fact. 

The gentlemen of the camp all engaged making preparations to 
embark in the Ghent up the lake. Send on board their heavy baggage. 
Visit the camp and Gen'l Porter in the afternoon, and return evening. 
Find Landen's House full of travellers to the Falls, Govr. Phillips and 
party from Boston and many others. 

Tuesday, July 27. Strong wind from S.W., cool and pleasant. The 
Ghent prevented sailing by force of the wind. Remain at Buffalo, 
making preparations to return home. Send off a box of minerals and 
a bale of bedding to be forwarded to N. York. Send them to the store 
of John Lay, who is to deliver them at the rate of 2 dlls. pr. cwt., that 
being the common rate of transportation for goods down. For trans- 
portation up they charge at the rate of 3.75/100 dlls. At night Mr. Sands 
& wife & Miss Stevens arrive. 

Wednesday, July 28. Wind S.W. and rain; at noon clears off. 
Write to Mr. Curtois at Kingston and advise him of shipment of plants 
from N. York to his friend at Liverpool by H. & W. Delafield 1 as 
requested, and of the cost, etc. Send letter by Mr. Sands to be mailed 
at Queenston. 

In the afternoon accompany Mr. Sands & party to Black Rock. 
Take leave of Mrs. Porter & family, Majr. Fraser & gentlemen of 
camp, &c, &c. Receive from Gen'l Porter a draft in favor of H. & W\ 
Delafield for two hundred and twelve dollars & ninety six cents. Ad- 
vise them of forwarding same this day. Draft bears date July 29th. 
Same day draw on H. & W. Delafield in favor of J. B. Stuart for one 
hundred dollars, & also advise them of so doing. Make preparations to 
leave Buffalo in the morning. 

Thursday, July 29. At 5 o'clock a.m. leave Buffalo in the stage. 
Clear, wind light from S.W. and very warm.- The road very good with 
the exception of a few log causeways west of Batavia, and some west 
of LeRoy. From Canandaiga east the road is as good as in most 
parts of the state. In the spring and autumn it is bad & must be so, 
on account of the level country and the clay and loam over which it 
passes. Dine at Batavia and lodge at Avon, east side of the Gennessee 
River. At LeRoy there appears to be more improvement going on 
than in the other villages. The season, however, is very dull through- 
out the county and a temporary stop is put to the growth of these 

1 Henry and William Delafield. 

2 For names of towns and distances, see the end of the Journal. 


promising towns. Canandaiga situated at the head of the lake of the 
same name is the most beautiful village I have ever seen. It was laid 
off in town lots by Mr. Phelps (Phelps & Gorham, the purchasers of a 
great tract here) having fixed upon it as the county town &c. The 
lots are forty acres each with a narrow front on the street. Every house 
has its garden in sight from the street and a courtyard of shrubs and 
flowers before it. Every house is built with more or less exterior orna- 
ment and the village has the appearance of wealth and comfort to 
the traveller. Mr. Granger has built the most costly establishment. 
Mr. Gregg, Mr. Gorham and other gentlemen of large estates reside at 
Canandaiga. This lake is about 20 miles in length and from \y£ to 
3 miles wide. 

Friday, July 30. Leave Avon at 5 o'clock a.m. Breakfast at West 
Bloomfield and dine at Geneva. What is said of Canandaiga under 
date of yesterday should come under this date. Call on Mr. Colt & 
family, who induced me to remain at Geneva. This day exceeding 
warm & uncomfortable. Geneva is a very pretty village and is extended 
lengthwise on the lake at its foot and opposite its outlet thro' the Sen- 
eca River, which empties into the Cayuga Lake. Geneva is not now .so 
flourishing as it has been. Col. Troup 1 resides at this place and is the 
Agent for the Pultency estate; keeps the land office here. This estate 
has already yielded by sales of land and the interest paid on purchases 
about 2 millions of dollars and it is said will yield as much more from 
the sale of the residue. The heirs to the greater part of it are in England, 
being two infants, the children of Sir. . . . 

The lake of Geneva is 40 miles in length and about 3 miles broad 
near the village. It is called the Seneca Lake. It contracts its breadth 
as it lies south. The village of Ovid is in sight from Geneva. 

Saturday, July 31. Remain at Mr. Colt's, Geneva. Wind S.W., 
very warm. In the afternoon accompany Miss Colt and Miss Gault 
on a ride round the foot of the lake. Cross its outlet about 2 y£ or 3 
miles from Geneva. The ride is very pleasant and is on the beach. This 
village now contains .... inhabitants, and 25 years ago when Mr. 
Colt first came here there was not a house in the place, excepting an 
Indian trading post on the shore of the lake. The house occupied by 
the bank was the first house built on the hill & was the residence of 
Mr. Hallett, deceased. 

The Indian name for Geneva was Canandasaga, which means 
pleasant place; Canandaigua means . . . . ; Skeneateles means hand- 

1 Colonel Robert Troup, born in 1757, died in 1832, a distinguished lawyer and 
officer in the War of the Revolution. 


some squaw; Ontario, a garden. Thus the names given by the natives 
seem to have been both appropriate & sonorous. 

Sunday, August 1. Remain at Geneva. Clear and exceedingly 
warm, Thermr. at 4 p.m. at 94 Far. Attend Church with Mr. Colt's 
family. The Episcopal Congregation is small but very respectable. 
Among the Presbyterians there is at present what is called an awaken- 
ing. The Church is open for prayers & hymns every evening and on 
Sunday, service is performed 5 times in the day, commencing with 
prayers at 5 o'clock in the morning. Mr. Clark is the Episcopal Clergy- 
man. The Churches in this part of the state are numerous and pretty 
well attended, most of the villages having a church for each of the two 
leading classes of Christians, viz: Episcopalian & Presbyterian. 

Monday, August 2. Clear & very warm. Miss Colt, Miss Gault 
and myself set out on a visit to Mr. Hallett and family at Pulteney- 
ville. From Geneva to Pulteneyville is 34 miles, passing thro Vienna 
& Lyons. The former is a very pretty town, has mills &c. Meet Mr. 
Hallett about 10 miles from his place, who returns with us. Reach his 
house about sunset, having been detained by a refreshing shower at 
Hickey's, a log hut called by our party "the bread and butter house," 
from the circumstances of its being the usual place for a luncheon. 
Pulteneyville is handsomely situated on the lake, about 7 miles west 
from Sodus & nearly equidistant between Sacket's Harbor and Niagara 
River. It was settled by Mr. Hallett who purchased a tract from the 
Pulteney estate of 1000 acres in this neighborhood, at 10 shillings per 
acre, which was a condition granted him when he entered upon the 
agency of that estate. He had a special agency for 10 years, and among 
his privileges was the right to select 1000 acres at 10 shillings. His 
selection was judicious as to soil, but for rapid settlement other places 
appear to have had the advantage. It remains, however, for further 
experiment to decide as to the foresight which the several proprietors 
have evinced in their speculations. The whole country is rich and till- 
able, and it is very rare to find an acre of waste land. The evenings 
are here generally cool, with a breeze from the lake. After the fatigues 
of the day from excessive heat, we found ourselves much refreshed on 
our approach to the lake. Its cooling influence was sensibly felt within 
2 or 3 miles. 

Tuesday, August 3. Clear & very warm. Mr. Hallett accompanies 
us to the ridge road which is four miles from Pulteneyville. We ride 
a few miles west on the ridge & return. There are many evidences of 
this ridge having been the lake shore. The regular course of the water 
worn stones & pebbles & the appearance of the lake deposit at the 
foot of the ridge are the most prominent corroborations. Between 
Pulteneyville and the ridge and about 1 mile north from the ridge is 


to be seen a vast collection of petrifactions, mostly of shells. There is 
an extent of 2 miles where the stones are filled with these shells, lying 
parallel with the ridge. Specimens of the various petrifactions found 
here are preserved. 

See collection. 

Wednesday, August 4th. Clear and continues very warm. Our 
party accompanied by Mr. Hallett ride to Sodus after breakfast and 
dine at Troupville. To Sodus Harbor from Pulteneyville by the ridge 
road is 16 miles thro' the woods; by the lake it is about 8 miles. Sodus 
affords the largest bay on the lake, excepting Sacket's Harbor. There 
is about 1 1 ft. water on the bar. The bar, it is said, consists of clay & 
gravel and it is thought an excavation would be permanent. We found 
it very unhealthy in this neighborhood. At Nicholas Point across the 
bay, there were 18 persons sick of the typhus fever, which is perhaps 
half their population. This point is considered unhealthy, from the 
circumstance of contiguous low lands, over which the prevailing winds 
reach the point. The settlement at Sodus is called Troupville. It is a 
port of entry and a collector resides at the landing. About 2^ or 3 
miles west of Sodus commences a range of lofty hills. They are five in 
number and equidistant, being half a mile asunder, are of a conical 
form and are the first lands seen on crossing the lake from the Canada 
shore. W T e are detained too long at Sodus, waiting for a miserable din- 
ner at the tavern, to cross the bay as we intended. Return to Pulteney- 
ville to sup. 

Thursday, August 5. Clear but continues warm. Take leave of Mrs. 
Hallett and her charming little family and set off on our return to 
Geneva by the way of Palmyra, and the Sulphur Springs. Mr. Hallett 
accompanies us in his gig, taking Miss Gault, leaving Miss Colt and 
myself the . . . - 1 (a light wagon). We pass thro Palmyra, Manchester & 
by the Springs, making a ride of about 40 miles. The road is all very 
good and the country handsomely cultivated & settled, resembling 
more the oldest than the newest parts of the state. The villages are 
flourishing and handsomely built. The canal it is now said is to run by 

The Sulphur Springs are worthy of a visit. There are several of them, 
but the one improved for the use of visitors is situated at the foot of 
a beautiful grove, which affords a pleasant retreat in the warmest 
weather. There is a cold shower bath house, not, however, in the best 
condition. The public house is miserably kept, indeed it appears like 
a deserted barrack, for we could not find a person belonging to the 
house during our short stay. It is a large building, intended to accom- 

1 The writing of this word is illegible. 


modate a numerous party, and was formerly much frequented. Its 
neglected condition has nearly reduced it to such state of waste and 
want of comfort that the traveller may pass from Geneva to Can- 
andaigua without hearing of the Sulphur Springs. The spring that is 
improved rises from the limestone rock in a handsome, oblong basin. 
There are other springs rising from a neighboring swamp, where may 
be seen a vast deposit of native sulphur. When dried it assumes a 
granular appearance, but is readily reduced by the hand to a substance 
as fine & seemingly pure, as the sulphur of the shops. The water of 
these springs is very cold, more particularly that rising from the rocks. 

We return to Geneva by 9 o'clock in the evening, having much en- 
joyed our visit to Pulteneyville. 

Friday, August 6. Remain with Mr. Colt's family at Geneva. Very 
warm. Spend the evening with Mr. & Mrs. Bunall & party at their 
house on the hill east of Geneva. Mr. Bunall presents me with hand- 
some specimens of the petrifactions found at Cochany Creek. This 
creek empties into the Seneca Lake about six miles from Geneva, and 
on the same side, where it has made a deep cut (as described to me) 
thro' limestone rock, and has exposed to view a variety of petrifactions. 
Bivalves, encrinites, 1 and madrepores 2 of many kinds, & some prob- 
ably not described, are found here; the same petrifactions I also found 
at the Sulphur Springs. Mr. Bunall considers them a vegetable root. 
He gave me from Cochany Creek petrified bivalves and a trilobite. 3 
They differ from any that I have seen in other places. Also the wood 
petrifactions, and a small stone containing the print of what he calls 
the craw-fish, but resembles more the large bee, or a species of the 
butterfly (trilobite). The several specimens are preserved. 

The Seneca Lake never freezes, a remarkable circumstance, ac- 
counted for by the springs that rise in the lake. In the winter season 
it is said in the coldest weather to be seen smoking like a cauldron. 
The springs are no doubt very strong and must rise from the bottom 
of the lake. The water is impregnated with lime. It is used for all pur- 
poses by those who reside nearest the shores. 

The Cochany Creek was named by the Indians, and means a place 
of no frost. This county of Ontario is the third in population in the 
state. It contains 60,000 inhabitants. New York and Dutchess take 
precedence. Its wealth must now be very great and its future con- 
sequence can hardly be imagined. A great part already resembles the 

1 Encrinites, the former name of a family of crinoids which contained the perma- 
nently stalked forms which suggested lilies. 

8 Madrepores, a porphyrite stone-coral belonging to the genus Madreporidae. 

3 Trilobite, a type of fossil found only in Palaeozoic rocks: exclusively marine in 


oldest counties in the state. The farms all show wealth and comfort, 
and the continued fields of wheat and corn, and orchards of peaches 
and apples delight, as well as astonish the traveller. No farm of any 
consequence is without them; and these sons of the sod will talk of the 
best fruit and plants from Prince's nurseries, with more familiarity and 
intelligence than many of our New York gardeners. 

The pear tree flourishes extremely well, but they are not yet nu- 
merous, owing to their slow growth. The apple, peach, cherry, grape, 
apricot and nectarine flourish throughout this district of country and 
do at this time abound. A Mr. Ledyard at Pulteneyville carries on a 
trade to supply the Kington market with the fruits of the fall season. 

Saturday, August 7. Clear and very warm. At 3 p.m. take leave of 
my friends at Geneva & proceed in the stage to the Skeneateles Lake 
to lodge. For the towns on this route and their relative distances, see 
toward end of Journal. The village of Waterloo has had a surprising 
growth and Mr. Elisha Williams, 1 the proprietor, has built a brick 
house at this place for an hotel of very large extent, I should say at least 
50 by 60 ft., with outhouses in proportion. The bridge across the 
Cayuga Lake is one mile in length — the lake is about 40 miles. These 
lakes are all of a similar form, and from their uniform width as far as 
the eye reaches they have more the appearance of noble rivers than of 
lakes; and this delusion is strong when you are out of sight of either end 
of the lake. The Skeneateles Lake is 15 miles in length. It is generally 
considered as more picturesque & beautiful than the others. I was 
much pleased on my approach to it, because of peculiar circumstances. 
The moon was shining silver bright, and the scenery was rendered 
grand by the heavy, lowering clouds that occasionally reflected their 
deep shades over the lake. We drove up to the hotel at the foot of the 
lake under these alluring circumstances. At this point the land is about 
six feet above the level of the water, and the shore is skirted with a 
pebble beach, that was chafed at this moment by the gentle ripple of 
the lake. An exceeding hot day and dusty road were at once forgot in 
the scene so refreshing in itself. To complete the charm the syren voice 
of female beauty was not wanting; and while regaling til midnight on 
the lake shore, I could listen to the unrestrained expressions of delight 
that escaped the lips of the water nymphs that surrounded me. I could 
trace the finest form and sweetest neck in the world, of the fair maid 
that enchanted the spot, as the curtain that screened the window of an 
upper room that overlooked the lake, was occasionally removed by a 
gentle breeze, that seemed to visit in transport the lovely bosom it 

1 Elisha Williams, born at Pomfret, Connecticut, in 1 773 and died in New York 
City. A prominent lawyer in New York State and in 181 5 founded the town of Water- 


exposed & to vie with the tresses that amorously sported in its loveli- 
ness, for a welcome caress. The pillow had lost its charm, even for the 
weary traveller, and I was fixed to the lake shore til the overpowering 
influence of the scene seemed by the fulness of its enjoyment to have 
exhausted the delicate strength of my fascinating window companions. 
When to me, the Skeneateles was converted to itself, and stript of the 
advantages that would have made a barren wilderness an Eden, I did 
not think the Skeneateles so very superior to the other lakes. Upon 
inquiry, I learned that the ladies in the window were Miss Baily & 
Miss Riggs from N. York on a visit to Niagara, who, unused to the 
fine scenery of this country, preferred a seat by the window to the 
rest of the pillow. The above rhapsody might be realized by the trav- 
eller who had just emerged from a few months' residence in the woods, 
but to all others, as to myself at another time & place, seems nonsense. 

Sunday, August 8th. Leave Skeneateles at 4 o'clock a.m. and ar- 
rive at Utica at 7 o'clock p.m., passing thro' 12 or 14 villages, for which 
and distances, see end of Journal. The Oneida Indians are still to be 
seen about their old settlement called the Oneida Castle. There is a 
Church near their settlement, built by the state for the Indians in part 
consideration for the cession of their Reservation. The Indians that I 
saw in this neighborhood were well-looking. 

The canal 1 is seldom seen from this road, altho we ride for a greater 
part of the distance nearly parallel with it. It is progressing very well 
& it is said will be excavated to the Seneca River in the course of the 
season, as also the locks constructed. Two bridges have been built 
across it. 

This day has been very warm. At Manchester there is a fine mill 
stream, well improved. New Hartford, once thought to be a rival of 
Utica, is on the decline, its inhabitants being great sufferers from the 
general pressure of the times. New Hartford, Whitesboro and Utica 
form the three points of an equilateral triangle and are three miles 

Monday, August 9th. Remain this day at Utica; lodge at Bagg's. 
Dine with Judge Miller & family. Call on Messrs. Lynch and Varick 
to inquire concerning the Jerseyfield lands. See Mr. Varick, Mr. 
Lynch being in Albany. Mr. Varick accompanies me to Mr. Breeze, 
where we find a map of the Jerseyfield tract, he owning lots there. 
Mr. Breeze has been on some of these lots. He states that there is a de- 
mand for some of them. The soil of some of the lots is very fine, and 
the timber valuable. The settlers are flocking there more numerous 
than at any other period. They are mostly from New England. Capt. 

1 The Erie Canal. 


Thorpe still lives there. When Mr. Breeze visited these lands, he was 
accompanied by an agent for some proprietor. They put up at Thorpe's, 
the agent inquiring for his lots by No's; among others ask'd for the lot 
upon which Thorpe was settled and had cleared 150 acres. Thorpe 
had purchased it 16 years ago at 2 dlls. an acre. He was told that he had 
been defrauded in his purchase. It appeared that some swindling 
Yankee had given him a title and received the purchase money. The 
poor old man fell sick upon the information. It sealed his ruin, and was 
to take from him the dear bought labors of his industry & strength 
which have been wasted for the use of another and whose gains have 
enriched the knave who wantonly sacrificed to his avarice an honest 
man and reduced to want misery & disease a virtuous and worthy 

Of the Jerseyfield land, Mr. Breeze says that lot No. 17 is good; he 
has seen it; that No. 18 adjoining is much improved, and that ap- 
plications are making for this lot. It is worth three dollars an acre or 
more. He has had application made to him for the north half of that 
lot. We hold the south half, which he thinks more valuable from the 
circumstance of its being bounded south by a creek. 

No. 37 he does not know, but it is not near settlements & would not 
now sell to advantage. 

No. 49 he knows. The soil is good and neighborhood settled. It 
could be sold, he thinks, with lot No. 17 for three dollars an acre before 
the Fall. 

No. 73 he does not know. It is remote, and not in demand. 

No. 82 same as 73. 

No. 86 same as 73. 

These half lots generally exceed 500 acres, mostly he says will amount 
to 550 acres. He thinks it would be a bad bargain to sell the interest 
for 3,000 dollars. He advises to sell upon a credit, say for five yearly 
payments of principal and interest. Mr. Varick acquaints himself with 
these facts and I engage to send him power of att'y to sell, the power 
to be made out jointly in the names of James Lynch and Abraham 
Varick. It had better be a pretty general power. Mr. Lynch, it appears 
by a memorandum, had written to Mr. Frey, a surveyor at Canoja- 
harie, concerning these lots. Mr. Frey not having replied is the reason 
of Mr. Lynch not having given this information. 

Tuesday, August 10. Leave Utica at 3 o'clock a.m. in the stage and 
arrive in Schenectady at 5 p.m. The day exceedingly warm. Travel in 
company with a Mr. Guernsey who lives at Dunkirk on Lake Erie. 
He describes the mineral springs at that place as possessing high me- 
dicinal virtues. He could not say with what they were impregnated, 
but says that there is much fixed air, that pieces of silver turn dark in 


it, and gold brighter, that sugar of lead throws down a black precipi- 
tate. Twelve miles from Dunkirk is to be seen the work of the extra- 
ordinary salt boring machine. The person who has undertaken this 
enterprise has already bored 700 feet in the earth. The process is carried 
on by means of the lever. His augur, or rather pole with a boring iron 
at the end, is 40 ft. long. This is secured by a strap to the end of a 
lever working on an upright at an angle of 45 , similar to the common 
mode of raising water from a well. Two men working at this lever, 
simply raising the augur pole and letting it drop, and one man to give 
a rotary motion to the augur pole at the place of boring, perform the 
operation. Additional boring rods are added by means of iron screws 
and cups as occasion requires. He has gone to the depth of 700 feet, 
has passed thro' a variety of strata, mostly slate, some coal, some little 
salt. The several strata are kept. His boring rods are three inches in 
diameter. From the hole is emitted an inflammable gas. Explosion is 
dreaded, and cautions against fire are taken. Near this hole is a spring 
which emits an inflammable gas that was used by this earth borer to 
light his house. He built a reservoir over the spring, and by pipes 
carried the gas to his house, which was near. An accidental explosion 
at the spring put an end to his gas light, after a season's use. There are 
other similar springs. He mentions one that in the winter season was 
exploded in a very remarkable manner. It emptied into, or formed a 
small lake, which was frozen over. Under the ice was confined a 
quantity of this inflammable air. A mischievous person on showing a 
traveller the spring took a fire brand & when he lighted the spring 
the fire spread under the ice bursting it open in a terrific manner with 
the noise of heavy cannon, and much to the astonishment of the 

The theory of the salt borer is that the nucleus of this earth is salt 
& everywhere to be found at certain depths, which he admits are as 
irregular as the surface of the earth. He argues that ocean is proof of 
his theory and accounts for its saltness by its bed being salt. 

Wednesday, August 1 1 . Leave Schenectady and reach Ballston 
Spa, Sans Souci Hotel, to dine; distance 14 miles. The day very warm. 
Find about 50 persons at Sans Souci, most of them from the South. 
The springs formerly used are now reduced very low on account of a 
new spring which burst thro the earth & stone two years ago at a short 
distance off. The spring is here sunk 23 feet and the water rises still 
higher in the fountain from which it is drank. Saratoga appears to be 
the favorite watering place and the hotel there is said to be filled. 
There are two tubes sunk at the spring now used at Ballston, the one 
23 ft. the other 14. The short tube spring differs from the long tube 
spring, containing more salt. 


The Sans Souci House can accommodate 150 persons, and 163 
persons have sat down to dinner in the dining hall. 

Thursday, August 12. Remain at Ballston Spa. The weather ex- 
cessively warm. Drink of the water thro' the day, without much regard 
to time; however, find no good effect produced, on the contrary a 
slight pain in the head and a trifling inflammation of the eyes. The 
party this day increased by a number of visitors from Saratoga who 
return in the evening. 

Friday, August 13. Remain at Saratoga. The weather has under- 
gone a little change for the better. Drink three glasses of the lower tube 
spring one hour before breakfast. A greater quantity is drank by most, 
but I cannot so readily metamorphose my insides into a mineral 
reservoir. Four glasses are said to have a sure eifect. I again drank 
about 3 hours after breakfast as freely as I could, and did not find 
during the day that the waters had produced any change in the system 
of consequence enough to be of any service. The headache and in- 
flammation of the eyes not felt so sensibly as yesterday. The cathartic 
power of the water a little more active, perspiration more than usual 
and passage of urine very considerable. 

At night we have a ball which passes the evening very pleasantly. 
Miss De Paus, Channings of Boston, Norton, Bulow, Wayne, the ladies 
who grace the ball. Four or five cotillions concluded this evening's 

Saturday, August 14. Remain at Ballston. Drink this morning 
before breakfast of the Congress Water from Saratoga. A barrel of this 
water is brought every day from Saratoga for the accommodation of 
the visitors at Sans Souci. Do not rise sufficiently early to drink more 
than two glasses before breakfast, having joined the party at Brag 
after the ball. Find this water to contain much more salt, and drink 
a quantity of it with more ease than I can the Ballston water. It does 
not contain so much fixed air. 

Sunday, August 15. Remain at Ballston. Morning cloudy, at noon, 
rain; wind N.E. Attend the Episcopal Church. A young man by the 
name of Gregg preaches, and ventures a severe phillipic against the 
votaries of pleasure & of fashion. He seemed to think his discourse 
well timed, but it gave considerable offense, and was rather an evi- 
dence of his zeal than of his judgment or good breeding. Thh, morning 
I drink freely of the Congress Water; drink 5 & y^ glasses between six 
& seven o'clock. Have a trifling passage before breakfast & another 
toward evening: in all not equal to the ordinary state of things, when 
I pursue my usual diet, and take my usual exercise. Conclude to leave 
off the water drinking as a medicinal prescription. The rain continues 
during the night. Our party at Sans Souci remains the same. It con- 
sists chiefly of Southern people, who have no other means of getting 



rid of the summer months, and a few New Yorkers in search of ad- 
ventures or of pastime. 

Monday, August 16. Remain at Ballston. Rains throughout the 
day, wind N.E. and cold. This day fires are made in the ladies' room. 
At night we have a ball. These balls are given by subscription. A list 
for that purpose is handed around the dinner table. Eighty eight per- 
sons sat down to dinner this day. About 30 subscribe to the balls at 
1 50/100 each. 

Tuesday, August 17. Remain at Sans Souci. Rain continues, wind 
N.E; clears off in the afternoon. Messrs. Jones, Hutchinson and my- 
self, leave Sans Souci after dinner for a visit to Saratoga. Inspect the 
several springs. The Congress Spring is the one of most frequent resort. 
It is a surer purgative than either of the others, containing more 
salt. The others resemble in different degrees the Ballston Springs, 
but none contain so much fixed air as what is called the Long Tube 
Spring of Ballston. The High Rock Spring is a curiosity. You see on 
your approach to it, a conical shaped rock about 5 feet high and its 
base about twelve feet diameter. The apex of this rock shows the spring. 
A hole of about one foot diameter, rather irregular, passes down from 
its apex to a depth I did not ascertain, but the water is two feet from 
the apex of the cone, and it is at all times uniform in its heighth, what- 
ever quantity may be drawn off, or whatever may be the condition of 
the adjoining springs, or the state of the weather as to rain. The shape 
of this rock, and the manner by which the water is obtained, to wit, 
thro' a hole at its top, is what strikes you at first as very remarkable. 
I was at first of the opinion that ii was the effect of art, but the mo- 
ment you turn your attention to the rock, its composition and formation, 
you are no longer at a loss to account for its appearance. This spring 
in former times rose without doubt, upon its first bursting thro' the 
earth, perpendicularly to a heighth of some feet. It is now, and prob- 
ably was then still more strongly impregnated with lime. This jet of 
water as it fell, left a deposit of its lime upon the surface of the adjacent 
ground, to an unknown extent. This operation was carried on til the 
rock was formed as we now see it. And it continued to increase 'til 
some cause prevented these waters being forced thro' the hole at its 
present heighth. The bursting out of other springs would occasion it; 
and there is to be seen within 12 feet of this rock a similar formation 
of a lesser growth. The water rising to the top of the rock boiled over 
and, falling uniformly on all sides, made a cone. This spring is in a 
large ravine which, it appears to me, was at one time the bed of a 
river. Indeed, all these springs are in the same ravine, and from its 
banks are almost everywhere to be seen the issue of springs that are 
in no way improved or used, and some of them form a similar carbonate 


of lime to the High Rock Spring, and this formation may be picked up 
anywhere in the neighborhood of the little streams that lead off the 
water of these springs. The High still preserves its conical form, altho 
on the side next the adjoining bank, the falling of rocks, the hand of 
the traveller or other cause has defaced its regularity. The outer side 
of the rock is hard. When once broken, however, a porous and softer 
substance is exposed, and it yields readily to a light blow, and wastes 
away with time. I could not learn that any attempt had been made 
to ascertain the depth of this formation at the High Rock Spring. 
Such an experiment would show the bed of the river, if it was a river, 
or the increase of the earth in this ravine if it has long been a ravine, 
for there can be no question but what there has been a regular deposit 
or formation of this rock from the level of the earth when it first made 
its erruption to its present heighth. Specimens of this formation are 
retained. The Flat Rock Spring lies in the same ravine. Its waters re- 
semble the Ballston waters but have not so much fixed air. There is 
the Columbian, The Presidents, and other springs, but the Congress 
Spring of all others, is the favorite and most efficacious. At the Con- 
gress and Flat Rock Spring there is a regular attendance upon visitoiv 
to help them to water. At the others there is not the same constant at- 
tendance because they are rather objects of curiosity than of use or 
steady resort. Boys, however, are always at hand to earn a few pence 
for the use of their tumblers, and drawing of the waters. At the High 
Rock Spring we tried an experiment with a chicken. We were told 
that a suspension of 20 seconds in the hole of the rock over the water 
would prove fatal. A well-grown chicken was obtained, and we placed 
him in the hole of the roek about eighteen inches down whilst the boy 
who held him counted 12, meaning thereby to keep the chicken in the 
hole 12 seconds. He counted faster than seconds, so that the chicken 
was down, say eight seconds. He was then laid on the grass, when the 
chicken, after a few struggles, lay apparently lifeless for about one 
minute. Then it was seen to commence respiration & it was soon upon 
its legs perfectly restored. Twenty seconds immersion would doubtless 
have killed the chicken. The boy who procured the chicken understood 
his business well. He was paid, of course, for a chicken; by saving its 
life his profit is enhanced and the poor chicken is again sold to gratify 
the cruelty of other travellers as careless as ourselves. At night we 
attend a ball at the Pavillion. The room was handsomely decorated 
with evergreens, and much taste displayed in their arrangement. A 
rivalship between this and the Congress Hall occasioned the exertions 
of the ladies & gentlemen at the Pavillion in this behalf. Their ball was 
better attended than ours at Sans Souci. The ladies from both houses 
and some from the village were present. The room was well filled, and 
the evening was passed very pleasantly. We returned to Sans Souci at 


Wednesday, August 18, 18 19. About forty persons leave the Sans 
Souci house this day. At 1 1 o'clock a.m. I take leave of the party and 
proceed to Troy, where I stop for the night with Mr. Cushman and 

Thursday, August 19, 181 9. Leave Troy at 8 a.m. for Albany and 
leave Albany in the Richmond steam boat at 10 o'clock a.m. for N. 

Friday, August 20th, 1819. Arrive in New York at 6 o'clock a.m. 
See the U. S. Agent (Col. Hawkins) in the morning of same day and 
deliver over to him copy proceedings of the Board at their meeting in 
June, and communicate what had passed between the Commissioner 
and myself, relative to the misunderstandings between him and the 
Agent. Advise Col. Hawkins to give notice to the Commissioner of his 
holding himself ready at this place to attend any meetings of the Board 
that may be ordered. 

Sunday, May 7, 1820. Arrive in Washington in company with Mr. 
& Mrs. Payne 1 and take our lodgings at Strother's. 

May 8th. Wait upon the Secretary of State and Mr. Pleasonton, 2 
the auditor, and explain to them the object of my visit, to wit the settle- 
ment of the accounts of the Agent for boundaries &c, Col. Hawkins. 
Mr. Adams promises to reflect upon the obstacles that present them- 
selves & Mr. Pleasonton to prepare papers &c. Make frequent calls 
at the Department without much progress until the 17th. 

May 17, 1820. Waited upon the Secretary of State, Mr. Adams, 
and conversed with him fully upon the several topics heretofore sub- 
mitted relating to the Agent's accounts: State to him the reasons 
given by Gen'l Porter why the Agent's accounts were not audited by 
the Board, as gathered from a paper of the General's on file in the 
Department, wherein he states the dissent of Mr. Ogilvy to such an 
arrangement. Mr. Adams examines the Ghent Treaty & concludes 
that it would be most proper that the Agent's accounts be first sub- 
mitted to the Board for their sanction; and in case the Board decline 
acting upon them, that the American Commissioner should certify as 
to the same. Agree with Mr. Adams to have them prepared for such 
purpose. Mr. Adams consents that my salary- account be rendered dis- 
tinct from the Agent's, and approves of it. Render same to the auditor, 
Mr. Pleasonton. Mr. Brent furnishes me with a receipt of Col. Hawkins 
for 1500 dlls. received from Gen'l Porter, with which Col. Hawkins ap- 
pears chargeable, and I give it to Mr. Pleasonton. This receipt in- 

1 Mr. and Mrs. William Payne of Boston. She was Catharine Hallett, born February 
22, 1768, aunt of Major Joseph Delafield. 

1 S. Pleasanton of the U.S. Treasury in 1820. 


creases the balance against Col. Hawkins to the sum of 1800 dlls. accord- 
ing to the most favorable statement of his account I can make. This 
result proving so contrary to the one contemplated either by Col. 
Hawkins, Mr. Pleasonton or myself, we agree that it is best to leave 
the Col.'s accounts in statu quo, thinking that he is entitled to some 
credit that we are not aware of, or that there is error in some of the 
debits. Heretofore have furnished Mr. Pleasonton with an abstract of 
the vouchers for the year 181 7, to supply the place of the abstract & 
vouchers mislaid in the Department. Confer with Mr. Adams as to the 
propriety of my repairing to the boundary line, to represent the U.S. 
in the absence of an Agent, his office having been vacated. State to 
him the advantages to be gained, the services to be rendered, and the 
difficulties to be obviated. He desires that I supply him with a mem- 
orandum in writing of my suggestions, that he may lay them before 
the President. Promise to do so, and to prepare a note to the Secretary 
upon the subject. 

May 18, 1820. Prepare note to the Secretary of State upon subject 
of appointment to the boundary commission, and submit same to him 
to be laid before the President. 

Get my salary account pass'd by Mr. Pleasonton, the auditor, and 
obtain thro' the Treasury a warrant for the balance due me — say 
402.78 dlls. 

Write to Col. Hawkins, informing him that the Secretary has con- 
cluded that his accounts must be sanctioned by the Board, or by the 
American Commissioner before being audited here; that Mr. Pleasonton 
& myself had agreed that nothing should be done with them until they 
were revised by him; that upon my statement of his accounts a bal- 
ance appeared against him; that an item of 1800 dlls. was shown as a 
debit about which neither I or Mr. Pleasonton knew anything; that 
certain documents said to be forwarded by the Col. from Mobile to 
Mr. Pleasonton had not come to hand, and gave him amount of debits 
& credits as they were known to me. Also wrote to Mrs. Hawkins 
advising her that the Col.'s accounts could not at present be settled. 1 

1 The next day, May 19, 1820 shows no entry in Major Delafield's Diary, which 
begins again on May 31, 1820. The Journal of July 24, 1822, however, shows that on 
that day, May 19, 1820, John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, gave him the 
following letter: 

"Department of State 
Washington 19th May, 1820. 
Joseph Delafield, Esq. 

Having laid before the President of the United States your letter of the 17th 
inst. I am directed by him to authorize your attendance upon the Commission under 


Post Route from Buffalo to Albany 


From Buffalo to Williamsville 10 

Thence to Clarence Stage House 8 

To Pembroke Stage House 7 

To Batavia Court House 14 

To Le Roy 10 

To Caledonia 7 

To Avon 7 

To Lima Post Office 6 

To West Bloomfield 5 

To East Bloomfield 6 

To Canandaigua 8 

To Geneva 1 04 16 

To Waterloo 10 

To Cayuga 6 

To Aurelius 4 

To Auburn 4 

To Skeneateles 7 

To Marcellus 6 


Marcellus to Onandaga 141 10 

To Jamesville 4 

To Manlius 6 



Brought F'd 161 

To Chittening 6 

To Vernon thro' Canasaragua Oneida Casde and Oneida 17 

To Manchester 8 

To New Hartford 5 

To Utica 201 4 

Utica to Herkimer 15 

the 6th and 7th articles of the Treaty of Ghent; for the purposes mentioned in your 
letter; and subject to the assent of the Commissioner, General Porter, whose directions 
in relation to the objects of your attention in this employment you will please to take 
and observe. Your compensation will continue as heretofore, with such further al- 
lowance for necessary expenses as the Commissioner shall approve and may be al- 
lowed within the existing appropriation. 

I am very respectfully, Sir, 

Your most humble & obt. Ser. — 

John Quincy Adams" 
Text: Journal, p. 43. 


To little Falls 7 

To Palatine thro' Johansville 14 

To Palatine Bridge & Church 6 

To Johnstown Stage House thro' Kawnawaga 15 

To Amsterdam Stage House thro' Amsterdam 12 

To Schenectady 12 

To Albany 95 14 

miles 296 
from Buffalo to Albany 

Amount expenses incurred on public account 

during Season of 181 9 on Boundary Line 

July 20th, 181 9. Amount bro. from last journal 87.46 

27th Pd for a box to carry Records and Stationery 3. 

29th Landen's Bill for board and lodging &c &c 77-5° 

" Breakfast at Williamsville 50 

" Dinner at Batavia 50 

" Stage fare from Clarence to Batavia 1.50 

" Stage fare from Batavia to Canandaiga 3.75 

" Supper & lodging at Avon 75 

30th Breakfast at Bloomfield .50 

" Saturday to Monday at Geneva 3.50 

" Stage Fare from Canandaiga to Geneva 1.50 

" Washing at Geneva 1.25 

" Stage fare from Geneva to Auburn 2.25 


Amt expenses bro. over 183.96 

Stage fare from Auburn to Skeneateles .50 

Supper lod'g & liquor at Skeneateles 1 . 

Stage fare from Skeneateles to Utica 4.75 

Breakfast at Manlius .50 

Dinner & drink at Vernon 75 

Tavern expenses at Utica including washing 2.25 

Pd postage for Agent at Utica 94 

Stage fare from Utica to Schenectady 6. 

Breakfast at Herkimer 50 

Dinner at Johnstown 50 

Supper lod'g & breakfast at Schenectady 1.25 

& Servants & barber 50 

Stage fare from Schenectady to Albany 1 . 

Board & lod'g at Albany 1 day & night 2.50 

For Portgage of baggage to Steam Boat 50 

Steam Boat fare to NYork 8. 

Postage on pub. acct while absent 2.50 


Portage from Steam Boat .50 


From Schenectady to Ballston, pd 1 .50 

Bill at Sans Souci 14-25 

Washing do 1 .50 

Servants do 2. 

Stage fare to Troy 1 .50 

To Albany .50 

Going to Saratoga returning to Sans Souci from Saratoga & expenses 

at Saratoga 4. 



May ji , 1820 to August 13, 1820 

Wednesday, May 31, 1820. Leave New York in the steam boat 
Chancellor Livingston at 4 o'clock p.m., in company with Mr. & Mrs. 
Dickinson 1 and daughter of Troy. 

Thursday, June 1. Arrive at Albany at 1 o'clock p.m. Stop at 
Bamman's. Leave Albany at 4 o'clock p.m. and lodge at Schenectady. 
Meet at Albany Col. Wool, Qmr. Gen'l 2 & proceed in company. 

Friday, June 2. Leave Schenectady about 6 o'clock a.m. and ar- 
rive at Utica before dark to lodge. The canal is now travelled by 
passengers from Utica to Syracuse but not with as much expedition as 
by stages, therefore relinquish the canal route. 

Saturday, June 3.' Leave Utica at 3 o'clock a.m. and arrive at 
Auburn to lodge before sunset. Visit the new state prison. Is now 
finishing, by the completion of a wing. Has 180 convicts. A fine build- 
ing of handsome lime stone. Window sills are of red sand stone quar- 
ried in the neighborhood, as is also grey and other colored sand stones. 
The building is disfigured by a trumpery wooden cupola. 

Sunday, June 4. Leave Auburn about 5 a.m. and arrive at Can- 
andaiga about 1 p.m. Attend the Episcopal Church in afternoon and 
immediately after Church proceed on our route, being joined, or rather 

1 Mr. & Mrs. John D. Dickinson of Troy. 

1 Lieut. Col. John Ellis Wool. Inspector General, born at Newburg, New York, 
Feb. 20, 1784. After a long service in the army during which rose to the grade of 
Major General, he retired and died at Troy, New York, where an obelisk com- 
memorates him. 

3 On June 3, 1820, the Board met at Grosse Isle with Porter as Commissioner and 
Anthony Barclay as Commissioner present, and John Hale his Majesty's Agent 
present. A note explains that John Ogilvy, the former Commissioner for England, 
had died on Sept. 28, 181 9, and that Anthony Barclay had presented credentials as 
his successor (Journal, p. 35. His commission is given on pp. 35-36). 

On June 3, 1820 Commissioner Barclay presented to the Board a commission 
from the Prince Regent, appointing him Commissioner, that office having been made 
vacant by the death of Col. John Ogilvy, Sept. 28, 181 9 (Journal of July 24, 1822, 

P- 35). 

The names of the men taking oaths from 181 7 to 1820 appear in National Archives, 
Treaty of Ghent. Arts. VI and VII, Envelope III, Folder 3. 


finding in the stage Mrs. Phil. Schuyler 1 & son of Rhinebeck, and 
Rev'd Mr. Burroughs, 2 of Portsmouth, on their way to Niagara Falls. 
Lodge at Avon, Gennessee River. 

Monday, June 5. Leave Avon about 4 a.m. and arrive at Buffalo 
before sunset. Take rooms at Landen's. 

Tuesday, June 6. Col. Wool & myself accompany Mrs. Schuyler 
& son & Mr. Burroughs to the Falls. Cross from Buffalo to Fort Erie, 
examine the fort & battle ground, and proceed in an elegant post 
chaise, first put on the route by Forsyth, to his house at the Falls to dine 
&c. View the Falls from Table Rock & the stairs. On account of a pe- 
culiar state of the atmosphere there was neither much spray nor noise 
this day. Could distinctly look under the sheet of water from a point of 
table rock, so little was the spray, & at Forsyth's house the noise was 
not heard without listening for the purpose. After dinner Col. Wool 
leaves us to inspect the post at Niagara, & Mr. Burroughs accompanies 

Wednesday, June 7. Leave Forsyth's after breakfast & accompany 
Mrs. Schuyler to Queenston. Cross to Lewistown where we meet Col. 
Wool & Mr. Burroughs & proceed to the Falls on the American side. 
Show the party the wonders of this side. Visit Iris Island, and after 
dinner Col. Wool & self take leave of our pleasant companions and 
proceed to Buffalo, to prepare for our western tour in the steam boat 
Walk in the Water — he for the Falls of St. Anthony & St. Louis on a 
tour of inspection of the military posts, and I for the Boundary Line 
party in the Detroit River. 

Thursday, June 8th. Am roused in the morning by the signal gun 
of the Walk in the Water steam boat on her return from Detroit. 
Proceed to Black Rock and take berths for Col. Wool & myself. Learn 
that Gen'l Porter had left the boundary party & gone to meet his lady 
on her way from Kentucky via Sandusky. Conclude therefore to pro- 
ceed to Sandusky and wait for the Gen'l there. 

Friday, June 9th. Remain at Buffalo making preparations for my 
departure West. In the afternoon ride to Black Rock, and send on 
board the Walk in the Water from the portage ware house one store 
chest, a north west travelling chest, and a bale of blankets. Leave all 
the other camp equipage belonging to the Agency in store under the 
care of Mr. Sill. 

Saturday, June 10th. Embark from Black Rock in the steam boat, 
Walk in the Water, at 9 o'clock a.m. The boat is towed up the rapids 

1 Mrs Philip Schuyler. 

* Rev. Charles Burroughs, born in Boston, Mass. Dec. 27, 1787 and was for nearly 
half a century rector of St. John's Church, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. 


by the aid of i o yoke of oxen. The hawser supported by a line of small 
boats. Baggage taken on board: 

One large leather trunk 

One small do do 

One gun in case 

One red store chest 

One bale blankets 

One table top 

About 1 1 o'clock at night reach Erie; stop to land passengers, which 
is attended with some difficulty, on account of a heavy sea on shore. 
Wind N.E. throughout the day. The steam boat takes on freight, a full 
cargo of Indian goods on account of the S.W. Comp'y to Mackina. 1 
Mr. Crooks 2 the Agent with three others of the concern go as passengers. 
Freight estimated at 3,000 dlls. The boat last year took a freight to Mack- 
ina including passage money of 5,000 dlls. 

Sunday, June nth. Wind strong from N.E. A heavy sea causes some 
of the passengers to complain. Are obliged to run by Grand River and 
Cleveland on account of the wind, and carry the passengers for those 
places to Sandusky. Come to anchor in the lee of Cunningham Island 
off Sandusky Bay at 9 o'clock p.m., having run from Erie 160 miles 
since 2 o'clock a.m. From Buffalo to Detroit is called 320 miles. 

To Erie go 

Erie to Sandusky 160 

Sandusky to Detroit . . 70 


Speaking of the fish of these waters Mr. Varnum, a fellow traveller, 
informs me that the eels ascend the Illinois to River Plein, and that 
he has known them, when that river was full, to pass from the waters 
of the Illinois to the waters of Lake Michigan. Nevertheless, eels are 
not known in these lakes or waters above the Falls of Niagara, nor the 
Falls of the Ottawa in that direction. Mr. Varnum thinks not because 
they cannot reach these waters, but he seems to think that they cannot 
live in waters not having a communication with the ocean. 

Mr. Crooks related to Col. W r ool a remarkable fact as to the point 
where the waters separate that flow into the Illinois, from those that 
flow into Lake Michigan. Chicago River and Plein River take their 
rise in a small lake or pond having the appearance of a little swell of 

1 Mackinaw. 

2 Ramsey Crooks, born in Greenock, Scotland, January 2, 1787. For a good account 
of him see The Discovery of the Oregon Trail, by Philip Ashton Rollins, Foreword 
LXXXII et seq. 


the river only. Mr. Crooks says that in this pond he & his companion 
floated from the extreme ends of his canoe two feathers, the one took 
the waters of the Illinois, the other the waters of Lake Michigan! These 
streams are very insignificant at this point, but occasionally canoes do 
pass from Michigan to the Illinois without portage. 

Monday, June 12. At day light we leave the steam boat under 
Cunningham Island and take passage in a small schooner for San- 
dusky, Capt. Rogers fearing with his heavy freight to approach the 
Sandusky bar. A heavy storm of rain from the E.N.E. renders this part 
of our excursion extremely unpleasant. A cabin crowded with emigrants 
is less intolerable than to brave the storm on deck. To add to our 
miseries the vessel is forced upon the bar about two miles from the 
landing. Finding their endeavors to get her off fruitless, I embark with 
Mrs. Camp, Miss Robertson & Mr. Ainslie 1 in the small boat for 
Sandusky, where we arrive about 9 o'clock rejoicing to escape from the 
filth & stench of the vessel at the expense of drenched clothing. 

Sandusky is prettily situated upon a bay of that name. A group of 
islands at the mouth of this bay known as Cunningham's, Bull's, Put 
in Bay & others, forms as handsome a scene as we usually admire. 
At present there are at Sandusky two taverns, some half dozen groceries 
occupied in part by families, & three or four ware houses and three 
wharves. There is a great prejudice against the place as unhealthy. 
Fever & ague and bilious fevers prevail, commencing their ravages in 
August & few escape. Strangers are certain sufferers. A singular evi- 
dence of the unhealthiness of the place was most unhappily exposed 
to us at breakfast table by the inquiries of Miss Robertson, who had 
come here upon a visit to a married sister living near. An entire 
stranger she began by asking for the residence of brother in law. He 
was known to the landlord as were his first & second wives. The poor 
girl concluded there was some mistake as to the person. Upon explana- 
tion however it proved that her sister had died since she last heard from 
her, and the husband had married another woman. Miss Robertson 
by this affliction found herself in a strange land, 400 miles from her 
friends, unaccompanied by others than fellow travellers, having no 
claims upon the family where she sought a home, and left the table in 
tears. Not of the most acute feelings, however, she is restored, when the 
disappointment is over, and concludes to proceed to her sister's family, 
which by the kindness of Mr. Ainslie she is able to do the same afternoon. 
Among other mishaps of the day, we find waiting at Sandusky a dozen 
passengers collected from various quarters for the steam boat. They lose 

1 Hew Ainslie, born in Ayrshire, Scotland April 5, 1 792, businessman in Indiana 
and Ohio and a poet of some distinction. 


their passage in consequence of our coming up in a lighter & the boat 
proceeding, and add to the numbers of the disappointed. Such as were 
brought by their landing places, in the steam boat on account of the 
wind, depart for their respective residence in vessels from Sandusky. 

The unhealthiness of this place may be ascribed to several causes. 
Among those which strike the eye of the traveller are a great prairie 
extending from the lake to a considerable distance in the interior. The 
land as far back as the rapids of Sandusky is low and flat and wet. It 
is 30 miles to the rapids. Add to this an uncleared tract of land, and 
springs of water running from a loose limr stone formation filled with 
animal & vegetable petrifactions and afterwards thro' a rich loam 
which is the water they use, & perhaps we need no other cause for the 
sickness of Sandusky. The village is not more sickly than the neighbor- 
ing country. The contrary has been said. Sandusky is in the county of 
Huron and it is said that 9 out of 10 of its whole population were at- 
tacked last year with fevers and fever and ague. 

There is a custom house at Sandusky opposite the village on the neck 
of land forming the bay called the peninsula. The peninsula is avoided 
as unhealthy. Four miles above Sandusky is Venice, a village of about 
the same size, now entirely deserted. The residents have abandoned 
their houses on account of the sickliness of the place. At Sandusky the 
villagers seem to be an idle dram-drinking, bar-thronging crew. The 
whole population seem to spend their time in and about the taverns; 
and their dirty, swarthy, pallid, and poverty stricken appearances 
denote sufficient cause for disease. Some I am told make their living by 
fishing, and their season for fish having pass'd, are now idling away 
their time. 

Warm afternoon, showers. Sandusky is a settlement of two years' 

Tuesday, June 13. Several schooners and sail boats leave here this 
morning carrying away travellers who had been disappointed by the 
steam boat and others. 

Amuse myself in the morning traversing the shores of Sandusky Bay. 
Its banks are principally lime stone of 3 or 4 ft. elevation. Petrifactions 
of shell fish abound. They are imbedded in a softer lime stone and of a 
lighter color, than is found on Lake Ontario or in the Lake below. 
Amorphous masses of red granite. Eruptive red granite and red granite 
with garnets are found. Some black flint. A compound rock of horn- 
blende, green stone & white spots of granite detached and inter- 
spersed I found on the shore in one instance. Specimens are kept of 
the several minerals of Sandusky. Preserve also some of the wild flowers 
of the woods. 

Extremely warm in the afternoon; heavy clouds and showers in the 
neighborhood, wind S.VV. 


From Sandusky are exported pork, butter, ashes, wheat & flour. In- 
spection on pork is not rigorous, & there is much of it very indifferent. 

Wednesday, June 14. Very warm, wind S.W. Showers in the eve- 
ning. Amuse myself mineralizing. Without this resource Sandusky 
would be more intolerable than the wilderness. "Nunquam minus 
salvus quam solus," I have often realized to the full. But here the diffi- 
culty is to escape from the filthy miserable wretches that throng the 
tavern. Give me the wilderness and our red brothers rather than 
Sandusky and its outcasts. 

Thursday, June 15. Pleasant day, wind S.W; evening N.E. Find 
a mineral among some ballast on the wharf at Sandusky which I take 
to be strontian. It is translucent & sometimes transparent but not 
so handsome as that found on an island off here, by our party last 
summer. It is said to have been brought down the bay. Sand stone 
pebbles of every color are found on the beach & almost every variety 
of granite in small fragments. Ramble over the Sandusky Prairie in 
the rear of the settlement. This prairie shows every where evidences of 
its having been washed by the waters of the lake. Its surface is strewed 
with water worn limestone. Many of them are filled with petrifactions 
of shells and some have holes worn thro' them by the friction of harder 
pebbles by water &c. Gather several varieties of wild flowers. 

A small species of rattlesnake called the missisauga which used to be 
very numerous on the Sandusky prairie is now met with about 1 5 miles 
back. Rattlesnakes abound on the islands but few are seen on the 
maine. The little black rattlesnake called the missisauga is most feared 
because least seen of its smaller size. 

Friday, June 16. Pleasant Tempe. wind S. W. Leave the tavern in 
the morning with my gun. Pigeons, black & grey squirrels & partridges 
are abundant; sometimes wild turkeys are met with here. Not meeting 
with game, take to the beach and return with my pockets full of min- 
erals instead of pigeons. 

Saturday, June 17. Clear and pleasant. Having read thro' such 
books as I had with me, and explored the neighboring country, grow 
heartily tired of Sandusky. Find some relief in the society of Mrs. 
Camp; all else is disgusting drain drinking, filth, idleness and poverty, 
that, were it not for drunkenness, would be extreme misery. There are 
a few exceptions to this among the persons keeping stores, but very 
few, out of the one hundred persons that inhabit the place. It is settled 
mostly by New Englanders. 

Sunday, June 18. Clear, very pleasant, wind N.E. 

Genl. Porter arrives at Sandusky on his return from Kentucky in 
search of his wife and her retinue. They having proceeded by way of 
Pictsburg & Wheeling to Erie, he misses them & proceeds to this place. 


Present him with a copy of my letter to the Secy, of State, dated May 
17th, 1820, and the Secy.'s reply dated 1 9th, 1 containing my instruc- 
tions to repair to the Boundary Line and perform the duties of Agent 
&c. The Gen'l expresses his satisfaction upon the appointment and 
my presence and states that he will so advise the Sec'y of State. 

Monday, June 19. Clear and very warm. In the afternoon take 
passage in a small schooner called the Elizabeth of Ashtabula, for 
Maiden, Gen'l Porter having concluded to proceed to Black Rock. He 
gives me a letter to Fraser advising him of my appointment and instruc- 
ting himself & Mr. Bird to consult with me &c, as Agent of the U.S. 2 

Shortly after embarking perceive a sailboat in chase of our schooner. 
By her superior sailing, she soon overtakes us, having on board the 
Gen'l & Clinton, as messenger from the camp, with letters to the 
Gen'l & myself from Fraser, stating that the British party had proceeded 
to the Sault St. Mary to conduct the survey downwards accompanied 
by Mr. Ferguson, one of our surveyors; and that our party were de- 
sirous of proceeding to Lake Huron as soon as the survey of the river 
Detroit was finished. These arrangements having been adopted to 
avoid an unhealthy country at an unfavorable season of the year. The 
object of Majr. Fraser's letter was to cause the necessary means to be 
exerted to procure a proper vessel for the upper lake navigation. 
Gen'l Porter concludes that a vessel now finishing at Black Rock will be 
the most suitable and it is agreed that the surveyors continue on their 
present route, until he shall return to us. in that, or some other vessel 
suitable for the further navigation of the Jakes. He to be advised by 
every- opportunity of our progress, and more particularly as to the 
probable time when the survey of the river may be completed. I am 
also to instruct Mr. De Russy to make a copy of the maps now per- 
fected, to be laid before the Department of State. 

I return from the General's boat to our more dull sailing craft, tak- 
ing leave of Sandusky Harbor about 3 o'clock p.m. Find it very diffi- 
cult to beat off Sandusky with the wind at N.E. owing to the narrow 
pass over the bar which is at the extreme N. E. point forming the ba\. 
At night get a land breeze and at sunrise are within 15 miles of De- 
troit River. The craft as called is without any accommodations. At 

1 May 17, 1820, Delafield wrote to J. Q. Adams, Secretary of State, giving reasons 
why it was important that he be allowed to perform the duties of Agent, as that im- 
portant post had been vacated by Hawkins, the Agent (text: Mss. in National 
Archives, Treaty of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 2). The Secretary's 
reply of May 19 is missing but on May 19, Delafield acknowledged the authorization 
which had reached him (text: Mss. Ibid.). 

2 Major Donald Fraser. of New York, Secretary to the Commission. Wm. A. Bird, 
of Troy, one of the assistant surveyors (see Journal, under Article VI, pp. 8-9). 


night, wrap myself in my cloak and take up my berth in a dirty little 
skiff on deck, which is preferable to the slush'd & filthy planks of the 
vessel. The night was warm & sleep tolerably well. Morning calm. 

Tuesday, June 20. Clear and extremely warm. At sunrise find 
ourselves about 15 miles from the mouth of Detroit River. Nearly calm. 
A hot sun, vessel making little headway; and the intolerable nastiness 
of the boy who acts as cook who is at the same time mate & man so 
disgusts me, that the Elizabeth of Ashtabula becomes far more tiresome 
& odious than the city of Sandusky. The filth of the vessel destroys all 
appetite, or rather ability to use such stores as I had put on board. I 
fast until I reach Maiden, about 9 o'clock a.m., having endured all 
that filth, calms, hot sun, and total absence of all accommodation can 
subject a traveller to. 

Stop in Maiden at Searl's tavern which is the best. The landlady 
however is said not to be friendly to the Yankees. Learn that Messrs. 
Barclay and Hale left this place last week for Buffalo, the former for 
his home, the latter to return to the party. 

Maiden is a village of 175, or perhaps 200 houses. Is laid out with 
some regularity and resembles the Canadian villages on the St. Law- 
rence. The Canadians build a better sort of log house of timber some- 
what hewn and the crevices filled with mortar, and occasionally the 
exterior & interior whitewash'd, having the appearance of some com- 
fort. Of such huts is the principal part of Maiden. 

There is a garrison at Maiden of 36 men, under the command of Lt. 
Col. Hawkins. 

There are also many Indian huts remaining in Maiden. 

The Hurons have a reservation of 7 miles square, of excellent land 
above Maiden. 

In the afternoon leave Maiden for Camp situate on the head of 
Turkey or Fighting Island. Ride up with Searl in his waggon. The land 
on this side of the river is flat but rich. Canadian peasants are settled 
on the banks of the river, cultivating sufficient land for subsistence in a 
poor way. Their dwellings are mostly neat and comfortable. Arrive 
opposite the camp and cross in a canoe before sun set. Find the party 
pleasantly encamped and am gratified by a hearty welcome from all 

Wednesday, June 2 1 . Clear and very warm. The Tempe. in camp 
yesterday was 97°, wind N.E. 

Turkey Island or Fighting Island where we are now encamped was 
occupied by the Indians, when the British first extended their conquests 
in this direction, as a stronghold. Our encamping ground shows traces 
of their defences. It is related that when the British first pass'd this island 
in their vessels, the Indians in great numbers attempted to board them. 


The discharge of musketry struck terror into them & they fled, much 
alarmed at the noise, smoke, fire & execution of their guns. A cele- 
brated old warrior Pontiac was upon this island with his warriors, 
when he plan'd the scheme of retaking from the British their posts at 
Mackinaw, Detroit, Maiden & Niagara by various stratagems, and all 
upon the same day. He succeeded at all the posts except Detroit where 
he led his warriors in person. The British officers were apprized of the 
intended stratagem at Detroit by a squaw who was attached to one of 
them. On a given day when a talk was proposed in the garrison, the 
Indians were to have their muskets cut off & concealed under their 
blankets, & upon signal to massacre the garrison. The talk took place 
& old Pontiac found the troops drawn up in battle array. He went on 
with his speech, however & took occasion by some signal to make 
known to his warriors that they were betrayed, & no attempt to slaugh- 
ter was made. At Mackinaw some days previous to his intended attack 
he sent a party of his young warriors and instructed them to enter into 
their game at ball by the British garrison, well knowing that the energy 
& activity that his young warriors would display in this game would 
draw off the attention of the British officers. At the same time he caused 
a large party to lay in ambush in the rear of the garrison in the woods. 
For some days this game was kept up to the great amusement of the 
garrison. Occasionally an Indian would as if by accident strike the 
ball into the fort & permission was given for one man to enter after it 
in the heat of the game. This trick was carried on until it became 
familiar and the party in larger numbers was admitted into the fort. 
Having gained this advantage in a favorable moment, a signal was 
given to the Indians in ambush. The fort was instantly throng'd & the 
whole garrison fell a sacrifice to the stratagem of Pontiac. By other 
artifices several forts were taken upon the same day. I have heard these 
traditions related in different ways, consequently must allow for error, 
but Pontiac was a great Indian warrior. 

Meet with an intelligent Canadian who says that the fragments of 
earthenware that we find buried in different parts of the country are 
to his knowledge of Indian manufacture; that these earthen vessels are 
buried with the dead; that they are filled with corn, the Indians be- 
lieving that the dead subsist upon it. That he knows that the Hurons 
to this day do manufacture this ware, but not so commonly as hereto- 
fore; and that I can find these earthen vessels by going to the Indian 
settlement below the camp on the Canada side. He promises the stone 
hatchets formerly used by the Indians, which he says are found here 
in numbers. 

In the afternoon a heavy squall blows over the wall tents, & proves 
very grateful after an intense hot sun. 


Thursday, June 22. Clear and pleasant. Tempe. moderate. Pre- 
pare a letter to Genl. Porter informing him that the party will be ready 
to move on from Detroit River on or about the 9th day of July next, 
and will want a larger vessel to carry them to the Sault St. Mary. 

Majr. Fraser & self go to Detroit to lay in some stores and deliver our 
packet of letters on board the steam boat. 

Cross from camp to the Canada shore where a Frenchman supplies 
us with the ruin of a calash, an old mare of all colors & shapes, harness 
of buck leather & ropes, and altogether the most ludicrous outfit imag- 
inable. To make the farce complete the old man himself mounted up 
behind the calash, to bring home his vehicle. In weight he exceeded 
both of us together, and to prevent his weight from upsetting the ma- 
chine backward he was obliged to throw his body forward, leaning 
over our heads! We cross'd the ferry from Sandwich to Detroit. Re- 
turned in the evening in a fine sailboat, bought at Detroit for the use 
of the party. 

Friday, June 23. Clear & pleasant. Remain in camp. The survey 
is conducted this day to the neighborhood of Detroit. 

Saturday, June 24. Clear and pleasant in the morning. In the 
afternoon commences a storm which continues with violence during 
the night. 

Write to Genl. Porter informing him that the survey of the Detroit 
River will be terminated before the gth of July. Write to the Secy, of 
State informing him of arrival on the Line, & of the progress of the 
survey 1 &c. The steam boat passes down. We board her and deliver our 
letters &c. 

Sunday, June 25. Clear and warm. Commence this day with regu- 
lar thermometrical observations for which see tables. In the afternoon 
we all cross to the Canada shore for a ramble and stroll among the 
peasants. One of them presents me with two Indian stone axes such as 
were formerly used by the natives. They have no hole for a handle, 
and it is said the handle was tied on them. The stone of which they 
are made is not found here at this day. The Canadians say it is found 
under water in a softer state when they work it. Of this there is no 
evidence however. 

The head of Fighting or Turkey Island where our camp now is has 
been fortified by the Indians. The head is a rise of ground of about 
20 ft. A line or manner of breastwork of a circular form has been 
thrown up, and holes of 8 or 10 ft. diameter every where dug within 

1 Delafield to J. Q. Adams, June 24, 1820 (text: Mss. in National Archives, Treaty 
of Ghent, Arts. VI and VII, Envelope I, Folder 2). The letter to General Porter, of 
the same date, is missing. 


this work, seeming as if intended for the skulking places of the Indians. 
From them they could shoot their arrows with impunity. The ground 
is fill'd with human bones of very old burial. From the earthen ware 
everywhere found buried with them, they are undoubtedly Indians. 
They are too much decayed to discover that fact from the skulls. The 
head of this island has been cut off by the ice and constant current 
that breaks upon it. This abrasion has exposed many skeletons and 
much earthenware. 

Monday, June 26. Clear and very pleasant. The surveyors set ofF 
to measure a base line about four miles from camp. 

Majr. Fraser and myself spend the day in camp. In the morning 
search the beach for the purpose of examining & collecting the vast 
variety of pebbles to be found here. Agates of every color, granites, 
porphyry and quartz in many varieties, with some petrifactions in 
limestone, are found. They prove however of but little interest, and 
have been deposited on the head of the island by the current. 

Tuesday, June 27. Strike the tents and load the boats for removal 
of camp upwards. Myself, Fraser and one boatman set off with a fair 
wind in the sailboat. Mr. DeRussy takes charge of the baggage boat &c. 
Proceed with the sailboat to near Wind Mill Point, which is the end of 
the Detroit River, when a heavy squall obliges us to bear away for a 
port on the Canada shore. After much difficulty & labor moor the 
boat in safety, in charge of Mr. Best, who with two men remain by 
her during the night. I find miserable lodgings in a house called a 
tavern about one mile up the shore. A bed made on the floor offered 
some hope of rest, but one Canadian after another rolled himself in his 
blanket & laid himself alongside of me, until eight had laid themselves 
upon the same floor in a room about 12 ft. square. Extreme poverty, 
filth, & ignorance have reduced these poor creatures to the lowest deg- 
radation of humanity. Disease too has made its ravages. Before landing 
we considered ourselves abreast of an Indian village. The yellow com- 
plexion and blanket dress and small log hut made us rather look for 
a worse reception than we met. They proved Canadians, and almost 
every house I entered had one or more persons lying on the floor or 
on the beds suffering from fever & ague. This they did not consider 
unhealthy, but they anticipated the usual diseases in July, August & 
September, to wit, bilious and intermittent fevers of a high type. 

Wednesday, June 28. At day break get under way from the Can- 
ada shore, and attempt to beat up to Wind Mill Point. Head winds 
and strong counter current render it impracticable. Run down the 
American shore to a landing place & come to, to await the arrival of 
Mr. DeRussy in the baggage boat. He soon heaves in sight. He had 
run his boat on the beach when the storm commenced and pitched his 


tent, & left his position during the preceding night. Breakfast at Mr. 
Verendery's and proceed down the shore to encamp, Pitch our tents 
on the first high or dry land we come to, which is a lot of Mr. Cooke's 
three miles above Detroit. 

Thursday, June 29. Clear & very pleasant. Thermo, at noon, 91 . 
Wind S.E. Remain in camp. The whole party sleep in camp this" night. 
Mr. Bird sets a station on Lake St. Clair. On the beach find a variety 
of rolled primitive stones, which are singularly deposited at this end 
of Lake St. Clair only — Similar petrifactions of shells & roots to those 
found below are also here. 

Friday, June 30. Clear & very pleasant. Wind S.E. Remain in 

Saturday, July 1. Clear and pleasant. Remain in camp. 

Sunday, July 2. Clear and very warm. Dine in Detroit with Doct r * 
Delavan, 1 the gentlemen from camp, & Gen'l McComb 2 form the party. 

Monday, July 3. Dine in Detroit with Genl. McComb. The gentle- 
men from camp, of the garrison, and Mrs. Cass & Biddle form the party. 
Return at night to the camp. 

Tuesday, July 4. At 10 o'clock a.m. leave Detroit in the steam boat 
Walk in the Water on a jaunt of pleasure with a large party of ladies & 
gentlemen, to celebrate the day in mirth and festivity. About one 
hundred and fifty persons of both sexes comprise the party. Proceed 
into Lake St. Clair, but on account of threatening showers put about 
and run down the Detroit River, toward Maiden. Sit down to an ex- 
cellent dinner at four o'clock. The military band enables the party 
to join in the dance. Cotillions are danced with the same ease and grace 
as in our own part of the country and for politeness and good conduct 
in every particular, this party could not be surpassed in the most 
polished parts of the States. Salutes were fired from the boat, and the 
toasts reechoed from the mouth of the cannon. The day was passed 
in great mirth, and with entire satisfaction to every person. Return to 
Detroit shortly after sunset. Pass the evening at Genl. McComb's, & 
he obliges us with the use of his waggon to return to camp at night. 
Messrs. Bird, De Russy & self return in the waggon to camp. 

1 Dr. Benjamin Delavan was the Post Surgeon at Detroit, 1820. 

2 General Alexander Macomb, born April 3, 1782. Son of the Alexander Macomb 
of New York who held the great "Macomb's Purchase" 3,670,715 acres in northern 
New York including the Thousand Islands. General Macomb had by 181 2 risen to 
the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and was the Adjutant General of the U. S. Army. 
Promoted to Brigadier General in 18 14. He distinguished himself in 18 14 at the Battle 
of Plattsburg. Succeeded General Jacob Brown as Major General in 1828. After his 
death, June 25, 1841, a monument was erected to his memory on which he was 
called "Commander-in-Chief United States Army." 


Wednesday, July 5. Rains throughout the day. Wind N.E. & E. 

Davis, one of the men, complains of being very ill. Send for Dr. 
Delavan who prescribes for him. His disease pleurisy. Bleeding and a 
large dose of salts soon restore him. 

In the evening go to Detroit to Mrs. Biddle's. She gives us a pleasant 
little party, a dance on the carpet. The ladies of the garrison and Mrs. 
Govr. Cass are there. 1 Remain at night in the garrison, accepting the 
friendly proffer of beds &c. from Doctr. Delavan. Accept an invitation 
from Mrs. Cass to pass Friday evening at her house. Also for the 
gentlemen of the camp. 

Thursday, July 6. Remain in camp. In the afternoon Gen'l & Mrs. 
McComb & Majr. Stockton and Mrs. Biddle 2 visit us in camp. 

Breakfasted this morning with Majr. Stockton and returned to the 
camp shortly after breakfast. 

Friday July 7. Remain in and about the camp during the day. 
Gather several of the wild flowers of Michigan, and place them in my 

Spend the evening with Governor and Mrs. Cass. She invites a large 
party to meet us. Dance on the carpet & cards pass off the evening very 
pleasantly. Return to the camp same night about 1 o'clock. 

Saturday, July 8. Go to Detroit in the morning with Fraser and 
Bird. Return visits to Genl. McComb, Mrs. Govr. Cass, Col. Larned, 
Mrs. Biddle, Brooks & Mellen, & the gentlemen of the garrison. 

Return to the camp to dinner. 

Sunday, July 9. Remain in the camp. In the afternoon Gen'l 
McComb, Majrs. Stockton & Chunn take wine with us & remain 'til 
after supper. The whole party at home. 

Monday, July 10. In the morning accompany Mr. DeRussy to 
Hog Island, he to delineate, I to explore the shores for minerals. Find 
petrifactions, madrepores, shells, a silicious pudding stone, and some 
primitive amorphous rocks of granite and slate, all however out of 

In the afternoon Col. Larned 3 & Majr. Stockton, Mrs. Biddle, & Mr. 
& Mrs. Keyser, Mr. & Mrs. Jones & Misses Gleason & Spenser visit us 
in camp. 

Tuesday, July 11. Some petty thefts having been committed in 
camp we muster all the men, and after proper explanations search 

1 Lewis Cass, Governor of the Michigan Territory. In 1 820 Cass traveled 5000 miles, 
chiefly by canoe, to visit the Indian tribes under his jurisdiction. 

2 Mrs. John Biddle. Her husband born in Philadelphia March 9, 1789. In 1821 
U. S. Indian Agent at Green Bay Wisconsin. Resigned and settled in Detroit, Michigan. 

'Benjamin Franklin Larned, born in Pittsfield, Mass. Sept. 6, 1794 and served as 
an officer in the Army until the Civil War. 


their persons and tents. Find nothing. The men all assented to the 
search and expressed an anxiety to detect the rogue. 

Mr. McStorky and Mr. Elliot spend the evening in camp. 

Wednesday, July 12. Dine in Detroit with Majr. Stockton, most of 
the gentlemen of the garrison dine with him. 

Spend the evening at Mrs. Jones', who invites the ladies of Detroit 
to meet us. 

Sleep in the garrison at Dr. Delavan's quarters. 

The steam boat arrives this afternoon, with a few passengers &c. 

Invite the officers of the garrison to dine with us in camp on Friday. 

Thursday, July 13. Remain in Detroit til noon making prepara- 
tions for the dinner party tomorrow. At noon return to camp. Learn 
from Capt. Rodgers of the steam boat that the Red Jacket had sailed 
from Black Rock and might be looked for daily, that vessel having 
been employed for the surveys in Lake Huron. 

Friday, July 14. Rains throughout the most of the day. Genl. 
McComb, Maj'rs Stockton, Baker, Chunn, Caps. Farley, Cass, Messrs. 
Mellen, Brodhies, Davis, Delavan, Majr. Stanton, Col. Lamed, and 
the British officers from Amherstburg, viz: Col. Hawkins, Capt. Port- 
lock, Doctr. Tenant and Mrs. Black dine with us in camp. 

In the evening the officers of the garrison at Detroit give us a dance. 
We pass the evening very pleasantly and retire between 1 & 2 o'clock. 
I take up my quarters with Doctor Delavan. The British officers find 
beds at the General's, Major Stockton's & the Doctor's. 

Saturday, July 15. The storm continues and detains me in Detroit. 
Our friends from Amherstburg are under the necessity of returning, and 
about 1 o'clock we ride to the ferry house two miles below Detroit, 
where we are overtaken by a very heavy storm. I remain with them 
until 3 o'clock when I'm obliged to leave them to reach the steam boat 
before she sails. Drive to the steam boat and request Capt. Rodgers to 
take the British officers on board, who agrees to come for them, and 
sends them an invitation to take passage home. Dine with Doct'r 
Delavan and in the afternoon return to the camp. 

Sunday, July 16. Clear and pleasant. Remain in camp throughout 
the day. 

In the afternoon the Indians bring us a mosquenonge of 30 cwt., 
with other fish. Send the mosquenonge as a present to Genl. McComb. 

Monday, July 17. Clear and pleasant. Dine with Genl. McComb, 
who entertains a party of officers of the 3d Inf'y and others. Mr. Bird & 
myself dine with them. On arriving at Detroit find that our schooner, 
the Red Jacket, had just arrived. Go on board and find her a conven- 
iently arranged and a commodious vessel — Clinton arrives in the Red 
Jacket. Pass a pleasant afternoon at Genl. McComb's and return to 


camp in the evening. Genl. McComb presents me with a handsome 
specimen of strontian and a pair of bear's feet dried. Capt. Whiting 
presents me with a splendid chrystal of lead found in a mine work'd by 
the Fox & Sac's Indians 60 miles below Prairie du Chien, ore from 
same mine and some lesser chrystals on the matrix, also with some 
beautiful carnelians, agates & jaspers from the Mississippi near Prairie 
du Chien. 

Detroit is filled with officers who have come from Green Bay & other 
places, to attend a ct. martial to be held for the trial of Col. Smith 
of the 3d Infy. 

Tuesday, July 18. Remain in camp until afternoon. About 2 o'clock 
the Red Jacket comes to off the camp. Go on board and find the 
steerage of the vessel stored with provisions on account of the master, 
which he was desirous to take to Mackinaw. 

Consider the same as inconvenient on board, and request them 
landed, which the master immediately makes arrangements to do. 

Messrs. Stevenson, De Russy and myself go to Detroit in the afternoon 
to dine with Majr. Biddle, who entertains a large party of officers, 
mostly of the 3d Infy, Col. Smith & Lawrence, Maj'rs Baker, Chunn, 
Stockton, &c. &c. 

In the evening return to camp. During our absence some preparation 
had been made to get camp equipage on board the Red Jacket. 

Wednesday, July 19. All hands employed in getting camp equipage 
on board the Red Jacket. By 1 1 o'clock a.m. everything is on board, 
and a head-wind only detains us. All the gentlemen but myself go to 
Detroit to make purchases and take leave. I remain on board the vessel, 
and having had all matters comfortably arranged, spend the afternoon 
writing letters for probably the last time this season, as our voyage on- 
ward will carry me beyond the means of communication of this nature. 

Thursday, July 20. Continue wind bound on board the Red Jacket, 
lying off our encamping ground in readiness to proceed. In the after- 
noon Mr. Bird and myself go to Detroit to make our take leave visits, 
and a few purchases. Return to the vessel by sun set on the appearance 
of a change wind, but it dies away and the rain and calm succeed — 
write to Genl. Porter 1 and give my letters to Mr. Cooke, our camp 
neighbor, with a request that he would have them delivered to Capt. 
Rodgers of the steam boat Walk in the Water. 

Gen'l McComb brings with him from Grosse Isle some very handsome 
specimens of chrystals of strontian and presents me with a fine handsome 
cabinet specimen, one of its chrystals being more than one inch in 
width, and the whole group large and transparent. 

1 This letter is missing from the files of General Porter and also of Major Delafield, 
in the National Archives. 


Take leave of all friends in Detroit, who are all entitled to gratitude 
and reciprocation of civilities from the kindness and hospitality with 
which we have been received and treated. Gen'l McComb, Majr. & 
Mrs. Biddle, Mrs. Govr. Cass, Majr. Stockton, Doctor Delavan, and 
all the gentlemen of the garrison are particularly to be remembered. 
Col. and Mrs. Larned & Mr. & Mrs. Jones of the citizens have added 
to the pleasures of our pastime in Detroit. 

Friday, July 21. Clear and pleasant. Wind S.W. About sunrise 
get under way in the Red Jacket from Detroit River. Soon enter Lake 
St. Clair. This lake, from its inlet to its outlet, which may be called its 
length, is about 20 miles. Its breadth is greater, say 25 miles. It is a very 
shallow lake and its greatest depth does not exceed 4 fathoms. On mak- 
ing the St. Clair River you cross extensive flats, in many places carrying 
less than two fathoms. The channel is very circuitous, and is marked 
out by stakes on either side. When the sun shines it is evident to the 
eye from the contrast between the deep and shallow waters. St. Clair 
River has several outlets into the lake. They are formed by a number 
of flat islands off its mouth. The ship channel or best one is West of all 
the islands and next to the American shore, according to the present 
knowledge and navigation. 

The whole country around as far as the eye reaches is flat and low. 
The shores of Lake St. Clair are inhabited, but the clearings do not 
extend backward. The land at the mouth of the river is also flat, and 
indicates fever and ague. Two of our men during the day are taken 
with fever & ague. Enter the river, and are obliged to come to anchor 
about 4 miles from the lake on account of a head wind and strong 
current. Attempt to tow the vessel against the current in vain, first 
with two boats & eight oars, then with a line. 

Soundings in 8 fathoms where we anchor. 

Party on board the Red Jacket, including all hands, 2 1 . 

Saturday, July 22. Remain becalmed and windbound in the St. 
Clair River where we came to yesterday. Make an excursion up the E. 
and down the W. side of the river for two or three miles to explore the 
country. It is entirely an alluvial deposit and not a stone to be found on 
the shores. Generally sand, wood, oak, poplar and elm. Settlers, French 
Canadians. On the W. shore near our vessel are a few comfortable 
houses and decent farms for Canadians. For the flowers of this place 
see herbarium. Minerals none. There are five or six outlets of the river 
into Lake St. Clair. The most eastern one or channel on the British 
side, called Chenail Ecarte, empties into Lake St. Clair near the 
mouth of the Thames. The West channel is the one used. 

River Huron empties into Lake St. Clair on the West side about eight 
miles from the mouth of St. Clair River. River Thames on the Canada 


Sunday, July 23. Lie at anchor becalm'd til 10 o'clock, when a 
wind from the S.W. enables us to make a little headway. Gain about 
one mile in the course of the morning, when by the aid of a tow line 
we get abreast of Chien Point where the river changes its course that 
gives a free wind, that carries about 10 miles up the river. The West 
shore of the river is settled and cultivated, the East shore not so. The 
soil rich, land level and rather low. Wheat grows well and the farms 
look in pretty good condition, tho' small, and the farm houses comfort- 
able. The inhabitants have a more healthy appearance than below on 
Lake St. Clair or Detroit River. The sail along the shore is very pleas- 
ing from the circumstance of its clean and fertile banks. The water of 
this river is very deep. We anchor within 20 yards of the shore in five 
fathoms water. It is colder than the waters of the lower rivers or lakes, 
and we have no longer any necessity for ice. 

Party on board the Red Jacket: 

Majr. Delafield as Agent, 
" Fraser " Secy. 

Mr. Bird, Prin: Sur. 

Mr. Stevenson, Sur. 

Mr. Best, Sur. 

Mr. DeRussy, Draftsman 

Mr. Clinton, Steward 

Mr. Gillett, Master, 

and thirteen boatmen. 

Monday, July 24. Get under way about sunrise with a fair wind 
and reach Fort Gratiot at 1 o'clock. St. Clair River improves very much 
in its beauties as you approach Lake Huron. Its banks are higher, and 
the water deeper and more rapid. The population is not so great at the 
upper part of the river, but such clearings as you see denote a rich soil 
and easy cultivation. Corn & wheat look well. Apple orchards are seen, 
but little other fruit. The farmers have plenty of poultry, cows, sheep & 
hogs, & gardens of the ordinary vegetables, all of which are offered us 
on our sail up the river in the way of trade. St. Clair River has many 
turns and resembles in many places the Niagara straits. There are, I 
believe, but two islands in this river above Point Chien. It is called 30 
miles in length. At Fort Gratiot there is a rapid requiring a fresh 
breeze to stem. Fort Gratiot is at the head of the river and commands 
the entrance to and fro. The width of the river opposite the fort is 8 or 
900 ft., and then a low sand beach for some extent reaches the upland 
on the Canada shore. In this neighborhood we again find the pine 
and white birch, woods not found between Lake Ontario and this place. 
The St. Clair River varies in width from y A to 1 mile and is narrower 
at its mouth than at most places. We pass the rapids with a fresh breeze 


at 1 o'clock and are most pleasantly wafted to sea on Lake Huron 
forthwith. This lake expands handsomely after leaving St. Clair. The 
land is seen about its mouth on either side til lost in the vast circle that 
surrounds you. We lay our course along the American shore, mostly 
due North til near Saguina Bay, when the course is changed to N.W. 
As far as Saguina Bay the land is low and flat. In the rear it is said there 
is an elevation, but none is apparent from the lake. We run the lake at 
a distance of 10 & 12 miles from the shore. On the Canada shore after 
leaving St. Clair River the country appeared to be for some distance 
a pine barren. The Canada shore of St. Clair River is not so well settled 
as the American, but appears to correspond in soil and perhaps has an 
advantage in elevation. In the afternoon the wind dies away, and a 
trifling breeze comes off ahead. In the afternoon we again get it fair 
but light and make about twenty miles on our course. 

Tuesday, July 25. Clear and pleasant. Wind fair for Mackinaw. 
Continue on our voyage, running parallel the American shore of Lake 
Huron. The schooner Genl. Jackson and schooner Huron sailed in 
company from Detroit River. This afternoon the former is nearly out of 
sight ahead, the latter a little astern. Pass the morning in part making 
ready with hook & line for the famed salmon-trout & white fish of 
Lake Huron. Wind continues fair but very light. At sun set we are 
abreast of Point Barques which is the Southern point of Sagana Bay. 
Sagana Bay is said to be one hundred miles deep. 1 

Wednesday, July 26. Clear and pleasant. At sunrise find ourselves 
off Sagana Bay having made but little progress in the night, say 15 
miles. The wind continues fair, tho' light. We set all the sail we can, 
making use of tent flies for a top sail, and the small boat sails are set 
in different parts of the vessel. At 2 p.m. are abreast of Thunder Bay. 
Unfortunately for history, as some tourists have recorded the wonders 
of this bay, we hear no thunder. It has been said that there was per- 
petual thunder here. The land seen in the bay, or rather a promontory 
dividing Saguina from Thunder Bay, is rather low, but more elevated 
than the country the South side of the bay. Thunder Bay islands lie 
on the North point of the bay, and are two of moderate size; and some 
two or three lesser ones bearing a few trees are seen about them. At 
night the wind heads us & we lay offshore. 

Thursday, July 27. Wind ahead. Off Thunder Bay Islands. About 
6 o'clock a.m. in coming about, one of the lee boards is carried away 

1 Sagana, Saguina, now Saginaw. The bay is about sixty miles deep from its mouth 
westwardly to its extremity. 


by the sea, wind blowing fresh. The schooner is hove to, lee board 
taken in and we stand for the shore. Finding it impracticable to beat 
to windward conclude to make a harbor, and run under the lee of 
Middle Island, which is 8 or 10 miles above the Thunder Bay Islands. 
There is a good anchorage in 4 or 5 fathoms water on the South side 
of Middle Island ^ of a mile from the shore. In coming on we see the 
bottom in 6 and 7 fathoms water. The water in this neighborhood is 
the brightest I ever witnessed. At a depth of 15 ft. you can see as dis- 
tinctly as in the air, even the smallest objects are apparent. In the deep 
water a white object sinking may be seen for 8 or 9 fathoms. 

We land on Middle Island and the main shore. 

Middle Island is low, and based on flat limestone. This stone is 
broken by the water and immense ridges are thrown up on the shores, 
to a greater height than the interior of the island. Some granite & 
slate are found but the country is still decidedly secondary. Petrifac- 
tions of ammonites and several shells abound. 

The main shore is mostly of sand. The banks low, timber pine and 
woods almost impenetrable. There is evidence of iron from the colored 
water of the springs that ooze thro' the sand staining all around them. 
Iron pyrites is found imbedded in the slate and other rocks. 

Friday, July 28. Wind ahead, say N.W. Temp e - at 6 a.m., 65 . 
On board the Red Jacket in the lee of Middle Island. Go ashore on 
Middle Island. I walk around the island mineralizing with little suc- 
cess, beyond the result of yesterday's excursion. The other gentlemen 
go in pursuit of pigeons 1 and return with three dozen. On this island 
are pigeons and rabbits, many wild raspberries, & a few gooseberries. 

Saturday, July 29. Remain at anchor in the Red Jacket under the 
lee of Middle Island. Wind N.N.W. fresh, clear and pleasant. Temp. 67 . 
After breakfast leave the vessel on an exploring expedition to the 
neighborhood of the islands of Thunder Bay. Land on an island in a 
small bay N.W. of the Thunder Bay Islands, which is not laid down in 
any of the maps. There are a few others in the bays along the main 
shore not laid down. These bays all afford safe harbour when made, 
but are not easy of approach on account of the bars that project from 
the points of land. Generally the bars of stone and sand extend in an 
easterly direction from the points, and appear to be formed by the 
prevailing North West winds of Lake Huron. The channels are as 
generally South of these points and bars. In case of necessity only, 
however, would it be advisable to make these harbors. In the lee of 
such islands as lie off the shore may be found good anchorage. The ex- 
treme brightness of the waters continued to surprise us. Fish are seen 

1 Passenger pigeons, at this time most numerous. 


at a great depth, as well as the stone bottom. Eight fathoms appears as 
four and so on. The deception only to be proved by the lead line. The 
shores of the island where we land were covered with round water- worn 
stones, mostly primitive, and all out of place. The base of the island, 
as of the whole country around stratified limestone. Find nothing new. 
The beautiful granitic silicious pudding stones of white, red and other 
colored pebbles (jaspers), are found here in large masses. Petrifactions 
of shells, or trees and not much else worthy of notice. Returning, ex- 
plore the main shore. The beach is generally covered with round stones 
of granite, gneiss, slate & limestone. Base, limestone, that occasionally 
appears. The lime stone is stratified, and shelves into the lake at an 
angle of about 15 . 

Where the beach is of sand, the water of its springs is very strongly 
impregnated with iron, and iron pyrites is found in most of the stones. 
The main shore is indented from Thunder Bay to Middle Island with 
lesser bays uniform in shape and depth, being about one mile deep, 
and about the same width at their mouths. Return to the vessel at 
6 o'clock p.m. 

At 9 p.m. we get under way from Middle Island, with a wind from 
W.N.W. (the gale having subsided) with the hope of beating to wind- 
ward on our course. Stretch out in the lake. Find a heavy head sea 
running, and are not able to make any headway. Our schooner being 
very flat and with little keel, was fitted with very large lee boards 
after the fashion of the New York Pettyaugres, 1 and the crew not being 
used to them, permitted the windward one to remain in the water after 
the vessel had gone about, by which means it was broken from the side 
of the vessel; and our capacity to beat done away. 

Sunday, July 30. Find ourselves in the morning to leeward of the 
island we left last night, about twelve miles, owing to a calm and 
head sea. 

Find soundings in 71 fathoms 10 miles E.N.E. of Presque Isle. At 
eleven o'clock the wind changes to S.E. and we proceed on our course 
direct for Mackinaw. One of the Manitou Islands in sight N.N.W. course 
from mast head. Lake Erie is said in no place to have greater soundings 
than 30 fathoms. 

At 12 o'clock by Mr. Bird's observation we are in lat. 45°i8 / and about 
5 miles north of Middle Island that we left last night. 

At night, wind continues fair and we pursue our course. There are 
no islands on the American shore above Presque Isle til you come to 
Bois Blanc, near Mackinac. 

1 Pettyaugres — Pettiauger — Periagua: a large flat-bottomed boat without keel but 
with lee board, propelled by oars or by sails on two masts which could be struck. 
Formerly used along the whole American coast and even in the Mississippi River. 


Monday, July 31. At sun rise are about 9 miles from Mackina and 
a head wind checks our progress. It becomes nearly calm. Find sound- 
ings in 34 fathoms eieht miles E. by N. from Mackina Island. 

Temperature of Lake Huron at this place, 65 and of the atmosphere 
at same time 9 o'clock a.m., 68°. 

Sink two plates tied together bottoms outward to try the trans- 
parency of the water. The plates were visible at the depth of eight 
fathoms. The lake, however, was somewhat disturbed, owing to pre- 
vious high winds, and not as bright as in calmer weather and farther 
from land. 

Bois Blanc appears to be of the same description of soil, timber and 
elevation with the main shore, that we left abreast of Middle Island. 
Mackina Island and the main shore north of Mackina are the only 
high land apparent as yet. The shores of this lake on the American side 
differ in truth from all accounts I have had. They are generally low, 
flat and barren, & covered with pine, hemlock and white poplar. 
Water worn pebbles, stone, sand, and occasionally the limestone base 
that appears, form the shore for its entire distance to St. Clair River. 
It is said there is an elevated plain in Michigan territory, but no high 
land is seen from Lake Huron. 

Toward evening, finding that the Red Jacket made but little prog- 
ress beating up to Mackinaw, Fraser, Bird, De Russy and myself set 
out in The Lady of the Lakes (our barge) for the town. We land about 
sunset, under the most pleasing circumstances as it regarded the beauty 
and the picturesque appearance of the place. The village lies in a little 
bay on the West side of the island on a flat of land and contains two 
streets about ^ of a mile in length. Over is a height of about 150 ft. 
upon which is Fort Mackina. To the right and left of the town under 
the hill are the Indian camps, extending to and upon the points of land 
forming the bay. The island is three miles long and two broad. Its 
center is very elevated, and on the crown of the island is Fort Holmes, 
one hundred ft. higher than Fort Mackina, a very strong redoubt when 
in repair, with a block house in its centre. From this spot you have an 
extensive view of the several islands and the main shores around you, 
as also of Lakes Huron & Michigan. It is grand and picturesque as well 
as commanding. The natural curiosities of this island are the sugar 
loaf rock and arched bridge. The sugar loaf rock is a pyramid or cone 
of limestone standing alone on the high ground of the island. It is 
perhaps 50 ft. high. The arched bridge is on the precipice by the shore 
y^ mile from the town. It was formed by the washing away of the lime- 
stone precipice which here is perpendicular at its base. The incumbent 
stone has gradually fallen down til the present arch was form'd, and 
the rock being narrow a breach was made thro' to the South in the 


rear, which has allowed the rains to make a fair breach thro' & keep 
clear the pass under this natural bridge. The island generally is barren. 
The flats under the hill are productive of good rye and potatoes, but 
the high land is unproductive, stony and rough. 

Call upon the commanding officer, Capt. Pierce. This officer has 
been here since 181 5. Married a half breed has 3 interesting children 
& is as happy at Mackina as he ever was before. Mr. Crooks and Mr. 
Clapp of the South West Comp'y insist upon our taking blankets with 
them, instead of returning to our vessel, which we consent to. 

August 1, Tuesday. Find the Red Jacket at anchor in the harbor 
when we rise. Breakfast with Mr. Crooks at his long table with about 
thirty fur traders, hardy respectable looking men, mostly Canadians. 
These traders are in the employ of the South West, and come in every 
Spring with their pelteries and return with their goods from this post. 
Those from the most distant posts are dispatch'd first. Batteaux are 
used by these voyageurs until they reach the rivers that empty into 
Lake Superior. There they take their bark canoes; and until you come 
to these waters it is better to travel in the Canadian batteaux than the 
bark. Of the S. W. concern there are now here Mr. Crooks, Mr. Abbot, 1 
Mr. Stewart 2 and Mr. Clapp. 3 Mr. Crooks takes me over his several 
ware houses of Indian goods, &c, &c. The whole establishment is 
one of much system & detail, and requires a long story to recount & a 
long apprenticeship to understand. These gentlemen speak of the N.W. 
Comp'y as a very perfectly organized & well regulated establishment, 
evincing great study to mature, wisdom to design & perseverance to 
conduct. Mackina owes all its consequence to the fur trade. In the Spring 
it is a bustling little place and more than a thousand people collect 
here. They disappear again & in Winter it is nearly deserted. It bears 
a very strong resemblance to views I have seen of St. Helena. 

Visit the forts, the sugar loaf rock & the arched bridge. 

1 Samuel Abbott was a native of Detroit. Collector of Customs at Michilimackinac 
in 181 2. Later employed by John Jacob Astor's American Fur Company and became 
one of its business representatives successively at Prairie du Chien, St. Louis, Detroit 
and Michilimackinac. 

* Robert Stuart, born February 19, 1 785, died October 28, 1848. One of the founders 
of Astoria in Oregon. The story of his journey east is in Philip Ashton Rollins' The Dis- 
covery of the Oregon Trail, Robert Stuart Narratives and in Washington living's As- 
toria. From 1 81 9 for fifteen years was manager at Mackinac for the American Fur Com- 
pany. American Commissioner for all the Indian tribes of the Northwest. In 1834 re- 
moved to Detroit. Was known as "the friend of the Indian." 

8 Benjamin Clapp. On October 1 1, 181 1 became a clerk in J. J. Astor's Pacific Fur 
Company. Sailed six days later on ship Beaver and arrived at Astoria, Columbia 
River, May 10, 181 2 remaining till August 25, 181 3. Midshipman under Com- 
modore Perry. Captured by British. After return to New York went into fur trade 
for himself and also for Astor. 


The gentlemen of the garrison go on board the vessel with me. I 
return with them and dine with Mr. Crooks and party at his post. 
In the afternoon, go on board vessel with Mr. Crooks where I remain. 
I here for the first time feasted on the white fish and salmon trout. 
They are taken at Mackina and at the Sault St. Mary in greater per- 
fection than elsewhere. The white fish is more like the shad of salt 
waters than any fish I know, judging by the palate. It is very fat and 
cooks itself in its own fat. The white fish weighs from two to four pounds. 
It has a small head, sucker mouth & form of the salmon. Sometimes 
as heavy as 12 lbs. The salmon trout is a fine fish, rich, firm and tender 
— they weigh from 12 to 80 weight. The S. W. establishment keep a 
fisherman constantly out, and he supplies their table daily with white 
fish and trout. They are taken in gill nets off the points of Mackina 

Write to Genl. Porter and send letter on board the Gen'l Jackson 
that sails from Mackina for Detroit tomorrow morning. Also to Mrs. D. 1 

Wednesday, August 2, 1820. The Red Jacket got under way last 
night about 2 o'clock for St. Mary and at breakfast time we had made 
but 10 or 12 miles. Wind light from the N. At noon the wind comes 
from the S.W. & W. and we run to Drummond's Island by 4 o'clock 
p.m. The little settlement on this island is on the E. side of it, and 
consists almost entirely of the soldiers' barracks and officers' quarters, 
and two or three other dwellings. The buildings are all small and of 
wood. Majr. Winnet commands the post. The settlement is in a bay 
which is covered from the lake by a cluster of three or four little islands. 
The best channel is the one North of the most Northern island. We 
entered to the South of all the islands, in sufficient water, but it is nar- 
row. The country around is extremely rocky and barren. There is no 
show of fortification or of any expense incurred in the establishment of 
this post. Some shot piled on the shore, ordinary barracks, and a few 
red coats are the only indications of a military post. Drummond's 
Island lies at the mouth of St. Mary's River across from Detour Point 
which is the point of St. Mary's River on the American side at its 
mouth. It is the first island made as you come coastwise from Mackina, 
excepting the little islands that lie off the bay where the settlement is. 
No map that I have seen has any truth as it respects the position of 
Drummond's or the other islands about St. Mary's. We entered this 
bay without a pilot, but are told that we cannot proceed up the river 
without one. Are prevented obtaining a pilot this afternoon, and are 
under the necessity of lying at anchor for the night in the harbor. 

1 No doubt his mother, Mrs. John Delafield. These letters do not appear with Major 
Delafield's Mss. in the National Archives. 


Thursday, August 3. Get under way from Drummond's Island in 
search of the British party said to be in camp on Isle St. Joseph. At 
9 o'clock discover their camp on Isle St. Joseph and Schooner Con- 
fiance at anchor abreast of it. Mr. Grant, commanding officer of the 
Confiance, sends us a pilot from his vessel to conduct us to the best 
anchorage. Come to opposite their camp. Messrs. Bird & Fraser go on 
shore. Messrs. Grant and Doct'r Bigsby 1 come on board with them. 
Mr. Thompson, Princl. Survy'r, is below at work, & Mr. Ferguson in 
the neighborhood. The river above, as far as Neebish Rapids, which is 
considered the proper termination of River St. Mary, a proper com- 
mencement of Lake Huron, have been already surveyed by Mr. 
Thompson and party. Dine in camp with Doctr. Bigsby & Mr. Grant. 
Mr. Bird goes in search of Mr. Thompson. In the evening return to the 
Red Jacket and take Mr. Grant with me, who spends the evening. Mr. 
Ferguson comes on board in the evening & Mr. Gibbs, their draughts- 

Isle St. Joseph was formerly occupied by the British as a military post. 
It was destroyed during the war by a party under command of Majr. 
Holmes, who was detached from the troops lying off Mackina for this 
purpose. The fleet off Mackina waited for the return of Holmes before 
they attacked that post. The delay gave the enemy time to prepare 
and the Indians to gather confidence, so that when they did land to 
attack Fort Mackina they were obliged to retire. 

Isle St. Joseph is in circumference probably 60 miles. There are very 
many islands toward the British maine, and all the labor perplexity and 
delay of another survey of another Milles Isles is anticipated. St. Joseph 
is 18 miles long. In the evening a heavy thunder shower from the N.W. 
which clears off cold with wind from same quarter. 

Doct'r Bigsby show'd me whilst on shore his minerals collected this 
Spring. Organic remains from Drummond's Island were the prevailing 
kind. Some singular, undescribed compound primitive rocks, with one 
or two minerals of common occurrence, form'd his collection at this 

Friday, August 4. Cloudy and cool. Wind N.W. Messrs. Bird & 
Stevenson return from Mr. Thompson, having found him nine miles 
below. They set off for Sault St. Mary, to explore that neighborhood. 

Remain on board Red Jacket during the morning; and in the after- 
noon go on shore and in company with Doctr. Bigsby and Mr. Grant 
mineralize in that neighborhood. Found an amygdaloid 2 containing 
chrystals of epidote, acicular, &c. 

1 Dr. John J. Bigsby of Philadelphia. 

* Amygdaloid : An igneous rock containing small cavities made by the action of 
steam before solidification, and later filled with deposits of different minerals. 


Take tea with the gentlemen in camp, and return to the Red Jacket 
with Mr. Ferguson who spends the night on board. Whilst on shore 
visited our sick in comp'y with Doctr. Bigsby. Cooper the cook, Ned & 
Swan, boatmen, are suffering in different degrees from fevers. They 
were all first taken sick upon Lake Huron, but it is believed brought 
the disease from St. Clair. In the British party, altho they anchored 
but two days in St. Clair, several were taken with fevers and ague. 
They have since recovered on Lake Huron. 

Saturday, August 5. Remain on board the Red Jacket during the 
morning. We get under way and anchor nearer the shore and the Con- 
fiance. Mr. Thompson calls on us on board. He complains of the diffi- 
culties in his way as regards the survey in this neighborhood: the great 
number of islands, high winds, burning woods filling the country with 
smoke, rocky and uneven country affording no places for base lines, 
without much labor, & innumerable musquitoes & sand flies when 
above near Lake George, are in the list of his grievances. Mr. Thomp- 
son conceives Lake Huron to commence at the foot of the Neebish 
Rapids, 1 that are between Lake George and Lake Huron, according 
to his construction. 

In the afternoon land at the British camp and proceed on a min- 
eralizing expedition solus. Find some handsome greenstone amygda- 
loid having singular red & white almonds imbedded. In some of these 
amygdaloids are cavities with chrystals of epidote & a few small gar- 
nets of the precious kind. The base of the amygdaloids green stone. 
The porphyry found on the head of Isle St. Joseph is curious. Chrystals 
of feldspar well defined in green stone, forms the prevailing kind. It 
is mostly of large chrystals. The toadstone amygdaloid is also found 
here. Return to the vessel to supper. 

Sunday, August 6. Remain on board the Red Jacket throughout 
the day, excepting half an hour to examine a point of Isle St. Joseph. 
Find nothing of the mineral kingdom to bring away. The upper end 
of this island is covered with roll'd primitive stones and their varieties 
are before noticed. The base of this island as of the whole country is 
limestone. It contains at this place a shell that differs from the shells in 
the lime stone below, specimens of all which are kept. In the evening 
Messrs. Bird and Stevenson return from the Sault St. Marie. They 
describe the route as extremely difficult of survey on account of very 
many islands. From Drummond's Island to the upper Neebish Rapids 
they consider as great a task or labor to survey as the Thousand Islands 
of the St. Lawrence. 

Monday, August 7. Make preparations to sail for our station of 

1 The region under Article VI of the Treaty of Ghent ended at the foot of this rapids. 


survey. Take on board our sick from the British camp all convalescing 
except Cooper, who has an inflammatory fever. Are obliged to take 
him on board as the British party are also about to move. We run down 
about nine miles and come to off Mr. Thompson's camp. It is concluded 
between Messrs. Bird & Thompson that the former commence his 
work at the lower point of Drummond's Island between that island 
and the Canada maine and work up to Mr. Thompson, and that Mr. 
Thompson finish the country above to the place he set out from. Mr. 
Thompson considers his section so full of difficulties that it may occupy 
him for the greater part of the season. Take leave of Mr. Thompson 
and get under way for the foot of Drummond's Island. The channel 
being unexplored, are obliged to sail with great caution. Observe some 
naked detached rocks, some reefs and bars, but generally good depth of 
water. Come to at sunset in the lee of an island, but its position and 
name unknown. Ascertain the same to be Drummond's Island. We 
land at sun set and traverse the shore for a little distance, which is 
covered with rolled masses of granite, gneiss, trap & silicious pudding 
stones. Observed at a distant point the lime stone rising in high cliffs 
forming a bank of 30 or 40 ft. The islands abreast of Drummond's 
Island decrease as you approach the E. & S.E. end of it, and do not 
appear more numerous than is desirable to connect with ease and 
readiness the conduct of the survey. 

Tuesday, August 8. Get under way from the N. side of Drum- 
mond's Island where we anchored for the night, and proceed toward 
the lower end of the island. Wind ahead and light. The atmosphere 
rather hazy prevents our seeing the distant country. The navigation of 
this side of the island is good, no soundings and an open course. The 
islands become less numerous than above; a few small ones are seen 
in different directions, as also the Canada maine and the Great Mana- 
toulin. Doubling the lowest point of Drummond's Island, discover 
an open and large channel between Drummond's Island and the 
Manatoulin to the opposite side of the lake. Beat up this channel for 
an anchoring place. No soundings, more than a mile wide, and hand- 
some shores with small bays. Pass on Drummond's Island a high cliff 
of lime stone rocks, the first that I've seen of great magnitude this side 
of Niagara. Similar cliffs however are known upon Lake Erie, by 
Cleveland &c, and it is said also on the Canada side of Lake Huron. 
Looking down between the Canada maine and the Manatoulin could 
not see more islands than would afford facility to the connection of the 
survey. The day, however, was smoky — Isle St. Joseph, Drummond's 
Island and the group lying around them are fairly in Lake Huron, 
and not in the River St. Marie as by the maps. The channel we are 


now in is of great interest. 1 It discloses perhaps the best navigation to 
the Sault St. Marie and gives us a strong claim to Drummond's Island. 
The quantity of water, as well as the space between the island and the 
maine shores, I should say is as 10 to i in favor of the Canada side. 

Gome to an anchor near the little Manatoulin at dusk, and abreast 
of Drummond's Island. 

Wednesday, August 9. Remain at anchor all day on account of 
calm or head wind. Mr. Bird goes in search of a place for a base line 
and the Capt. for a harbor and finds one about seven miles South, 
formed by a small island that lies between Manatoulin & Drummond's 
and is only separated from the Manatoulin by a shallow and narrow 
pass, Capt. Gillett having in the morning explored that neighborhood, 
and Mr. Bird having found a place for a base line upon the same small 
island of about 1500 ft. in length. Land on the Manatoulin abreast of 
the vessel and traverse the shore about one mile in search of minerals. 
The shores are of lime stone mixed with rolled masses of granite, gneiss, 
pudding stones of different kinds but at this place the lime stone pre- 
vails. Petrifactions abound of fish and shells & madrepores. 

Thursday, August 10. Get under way at daybreak, and sail for our 
harbor as reported yesterday. Run into the small pass between the 
Manatoulin, and a small island West of it, and come to anchor half a 
mile from the passage into the lake. The sick are sent on shore and put 
in tents on the small island, with the exception of Cooper, who is too 
feeble to move at present. This island is a resort of the Indians for fish. 
The poles of many huts are now standing and every appearance of 
some hundreds of them having been in camp here two or three weeks 
ago. Fish was their object and this basin is well stock'd with them. 
Traverse the whole of this island, which is near three miles circum- 
ference. Its shore next to the Manatoulin is lime stone with petrifac- 
tions on its lake side, and on Drummond's Island side it is covered 
with primitive stones of granite, gneiss, trap and silicious pudding 
stones, and green stone amygdaloids of several kinds. The small islands 
generally have their shores covered with these minerals, and the larger 
ones and the maine shores show the lime stone formation. Off the South 
side of the island where we now lie near a mile from it, and the same 
distance from the channel between it & Drummond's Island as you 
make this channel from the lake, is a small, naked island, 7 or 8 feet 
high in its centre, that forms an admirable place for a beacon or light 
house. It would answer for the navigation of this lake for vessels bound 

1 This channel proved of still greater interest, as this was the region over which 
the Commission ultimately differed: but the differences were compromised, and the 
report under Art. VI was unanimous. 


to the Sault, as well as Drummond's Island, and afford a common 
benefit to both governments for vessels coming from down the lake 
and avoiding Mackinac. 

Friday, August 1 1 . Leave the Red Jacket after breakfast and ex- 
plore the shore of the great Manatoulin for a mile or more and find 
no minerals worthy of notice. Rolled stones from the lake cover the 

Messrs. Bird & Stevenson engaged setting station poles in the neigh- 
borhood, having yesterday completed the admeasurement of their 
base line. 

Capt. Gillett shoots a female grouse on the Manatoulin Island, the 
first of this species that I have seen or heard of in this part of the coun- 
try. It was unknown to all the men and others, residents about Lake 
Erie &c, and only known to such of us as had seen the grouse of the 
New York market. We are afterwards told by Mr. Stevenson that this 
bird is well known in lower Canada as the swamp partridge or beach 
partridge. It feeds on the beach tree and is easily taken, and sometimes 
without shot. He states it to have a very bitter taste. 

Cooper the cook, who is very low with a fever is put on shore in a 
tent. The three sick men on shore in a state of convalescence. Experi- 
ence much inconvenience for the want of men; Messrs. Bird & Steven- 
son are obliged to pull with two men to a boat. The disease of all but 
Cooper is fever and ague. Cooper's disease has terminated in a slow 
fever that scarcely remits, and in his exhausted state alarms us for his 
recovery. Doctr. Bigsby had previously reduced him very much by 
active and prompt prescriptions, and thought that nothing farther 
than nursing could be done for him. He gives instructions for his treat- 
ment, which have been complied with since our departure from the 
British camp. Mr. Ogilvy died of a similar fever to that of Cook's when 
engaged in the Detroit River. 

Saturday, August 12. Messrs. Bird & Stevenson and Best leave 
the vessel early for their respective duties of survey. An Indian in his 
bark canoe boards us, and is the first native that we have seen about the 
Manatoulin. He had some fish and a mat to part with, but would not 
barter for bread, pork, tobacco or whiskey, and asked ridiculous prices 
in cash for his mat, to wit two dollars; it was old, worn & stained &c. 
Strangers generally are extravagant in their bargains with Indians. 
The Indian can only name his price in dollars. For a mat he always 
asks two dollars, altho' it be worn & old. He knows not the fraction of 
dollars, and for this reason travellers pay more than they ought. The 
traders give them the only idea they can have of the value of a dollar 
by the price they fix upon their articles of traffic, which are always at 
an enormous advance. He tells them, for instance, that a yard of calico, 


an ornament &c. of 50 cts. value is worth two dollars, and the Indian 
parts with his skin or other article for the yard of calico &c. When the 
traveller bargains he must consequently pay the two dollars for the 
skin that the trader gets for 50 cts., and thus with all their articles of 
traffic. The better way is to take into your hand the article you want of 
the Indian, and he waits to see what you give him in return. If he is 
pleased he will show you more of his saleable affairs, if not he leaves 
you. We have learned to buy our fish of them in this way. They are 
very cunning and generally conceal what they have to sell except a 
portion, which they first dispose of, and then the remainder, if satisfied. 
Mr. Best on his return states that he saw on the shore of the Great 
Manatoulin the tracks of a large bear & of other animals. Mr. Steven- 
son says he saw the tracks of cows, and thinks they may have crossed 
from Drummond's to the Manatoulin Island on the ice. 

In the morning ramble about the island where the Red Jacket lies & 
bring home a few specimens of primitive rocks. Visit our sick in camp 
and find them all convalescing. In the evening two Indian bark canoes 
come along side. They said they were on their way to the South side 
of the Manitou, and from their outfit it appeared that they were bound 
for a Winter expedition. Snow shoes and the white paraphanalia of an 
Indian were on board. Their canoes were in excellent order and every- 
thing about them look'd more clean & studious of comfort than I had 
ever seen. Their guns & fishing spears were taken great care of. They 
were unwilling to come on board the Red Jacket, it seem'd as thro' 

Mr. Ferguson visits us and remains over night. 

Sunday, August 13. Messrs. Fraser and Stevenson leave the Red 
Jacket early in the morning for Drummond's Island to endeavor to 
procure some additional boatmen to supply the places of the sick. 

The rest of us land on the head of the Manatoulin to hunt such wild 
animals as might be found. Return after three hours' search, having 
seen or taken nothing but ducks. Mr. Ferguson leaves us after dinner 
for his section of survey above Isle St. Joseph, he still remaining at- 
tached to the British party. 

Messrs. Fraser and Stevenson return from Drummond's Island at 
sun set, not having been able to procure any boatmen. Mr. Stevenson 
estimates our distance from the post on Drummond's Island at twenty 

According to a calculation made by Hon. Walter Folger, 1 the differ- 
ence between the latitude calculated upon the principle that the earth 

1 Walter Folger of Nantucket, born June 12, 1765, lawyer, politician and scientist, 
astronomer, etc. 


is a sphere, and upon the principle that it is an oblate spheroid is, at 
par. N 45 1 1'g" & 4/10 of a second. Upon the spheroidal principle the 
line at the parallel of 45 ° North would be that much farther North. 

P. Burtsell for Stationery 15-50 

Porterage at N York 50 

Steamboat Fare to Albany 6. 

1 Porter at Albany 37 

" Dinner at Barnum's 75 

" Stage Fare to Schenectady 75 

2 Supper, lodg and break at Schenectady 1 . 

" Stage fare to Utica 5.25 

" Dinner at Palentine 37 

3 Sup. & lodg at Utica 75 

Stage Fare to Skeneateles 4.25 

Dinner at Onandaga 37 

Stage Fare Skeneateles to Canandaiga 3. 

4th Breakfast at Cayuga 37 

Dinner at Canandaiga 50 

5th Stage from Canandaiga to Batavia 3.25 

Breakfast at LeRoy 37 

Stage from Batavia to Buffalo 2.50 

Dinner at Pembroke 37^ 

Expenses to and from Niagara 7.75 

10 Landen's bill 9. 

Carriage to Steamboat 25 

nth Stm. Boat Fare B. Rock to Sanduski 14.69 

Expenses on board boat 87^ 

Marsh's bill at Sandusky 9.50 

Passage to Maiden from Sandusky 2. 

Expenses at Searle's at Maiden 3-37/4 

Pd Searle for wagon to Camp 2. 

for canoe to camp 50 

5th Pd Clinton for Portage of Agent's Camp Equipage at 

Black Rock 37^ 

5th From Captain Gillett 47. 

7th due from Mr. DeRussy 28. 

due from Majr Fraser 9. 

8th due from Mr. Bird 10. 

9 due from Majr Fraser 4. 

due from Captain Gillett 28. 

10 due from Capt Gillett 12. 

1 2 due from Captain Gillett 12 

due from Majr Fraser 2 

August 14, 1820 to October 3, 1820 

Monday, August 14, 1820. On board the Schr. Red Jacket, at 
anchor off the head or N.W. end of the Manatoulin. Mr. Bird engaged 
conducting the survey up the S. side of Drummond's Island, and Mr. 
Stevenson surveying the channel between Drummond's Island and the 
Manatoulin. Mr. DeRussy delineates the small island where we lie at 
anchor and Mr. Best traverses the same. Clear and pleasant until eve- 
ning, when a heavy rain falls. Wind S.E. 

Tuesday, August 15. Accompany Mr. Stevenson on his tour of sur- 
vey for the purpose of examining the minerals and exploring this part 
of the route. Traverse a great part of the east end of Drummond's 
Island where he is engaged measuring angles. The shores are mostly 
covered with loose stratified lime stone. Occasionally roll'd masses of 
granite, gneiss, green stone, slate &c. cover the lime stone. No petrifac- 
tions on this end of the island. Cross from the point of Drummond's to 
the Manatoulin. The lime stone differs a little from that on the opposite 
shore; is more compact and darker color. Opposite, the lime stone is 
singularly marked or cut with small deep lines running in all directions. 
Bring home some varieties of primitive rock compound, not described, 
I believe, and some handsome grapphic granite. Mr. Stevenson occu- 
pies all the remaining stations on both shores of the channel between 
Drummond's and the Manatoulin, and completes the survey to that 
point from which it becomes necessary to include the distant islands 
toward the Canada shore in the observations. It is thought these islands 
may be embraced and used as connecting points by the means of fires 
and smokes to distinguish them. Mr. Bird also carries the survey as far 
up the S. W. side of Drummond's Island as is practicable without tedi- 
ous island operations, for the want of islands as connecting points, the 
Detour Point and maine land being out of sight. 

Mr. Stevenson and myself return to the Red Jacket about eight 
o'clock at night when a heavy storm of wind and rain sets in from the 
N. W. and continues through the night. 

Wednesday, August 16. A heavy gale from the S.W. and thick 
cloudy day prevents the gentlemen going out in the morning to their 
distant stations. They remain on board and spend the day in making 
up their notes of survey and protracting maps. 


Finding the schooner cabins more comfortable than a camp I pass 
the season on board in preference. The vessel always being moored 
near the shore and a boat at command, the accommodation is some- 
what like that of a house. 

Thursday, August 17. Cloudy and cool, with a very heavy gale of 
wind from the N.W. Messrs. Bird and Stevenson set off for the N.E. end 
of Drummond's Island, passing thro' this channel, to establish stations 
to connect the distant islands seen from that place. 

An unfortunate occurrence gave me an opportunity this morning to 
save one of our men from a watery grave. Poor Russell fell overboard 
from the schooner in attempting to jump into the boat alongside. Not 
knowing how to swim he soon sank. DeRussy's alarm, who first saw 
him, satisfied me that he saw no means of saving Russell and I leapt 
overboard and brought him alongside, when with the assistance of 
ropes which I placed under his arms, he was taken on board nearly 
exhausted. Poor Russell was sinking the third time when I caught him. 

Mr. Bird returns in the evening, not having been able to do much 
on account of the tremendous gale. He observes for latitude at the 
N.E. point of Drummond's Island and makes it 46°i\ 

Mr. Stevenson does not return to the Schr. Is obliged on account of 
the high winds and heavy seas to encamp out for the night. 

Remain on board the Red Jacket throughout the day, as well thro' 
necessity as choice. The necessity arose from the loss of our skiff when 
Russell fell overboard, he having cast her off before he attempted to 
jump into her. The skiff was driven ashore on the point of the Mana- 
toulin, and narrowly escaped driving into the lake. We were without a 
boat until Mr. Bird returned in the evening when The Lady was dis- 
patched for the skiff. The sick man on shore had not been visited since 
early in the morning for the want of a boat, but in the evening we were 
pleased to hear that he only complained of hunger, a sign of conva- 
lescence in our cook that the poor fellow had many a time given us 
good reason to comprehend in its full extent. 

Friday, August 18. The gale continues from the N.W. Mr. Bird 
goes off on duty. Mr. Stevenson comes in about noon. Mr. Best accom- 
panies Mr. Bird. Mr. Stevenson placed a station on a long point around 
the N. end of the Manatoulin, from which point he states the island 
contracts in width; and that there are not many islands to be seen lying 
toward the Canada shore, save the cluster abreast of this channel & 
none further down in sight. 

Saturday, August 19. Accompany Mr. Best to the S. point of Drum- 
mond's Island where he goes to finish his delineations and I to explore. 
Return at 1 o'clock. Nothing new in the way of minerals. Observe a 
sail running down by Drummond's Island apparently making for the 


channel below it. She runs thro' this channel and is probably the only- 
vessel beside the Red Jacket that ever sailed thro' this pass. From her 
looks and manoeuvres we believe her to be the Confiance. She runs 
toward the Canada shore 'til out of sight. In the afternoon we amuse 
ourselves in catching a mess of cray fish. They are numerous about the 
shores, and resemble in all things except size the salt water lobster. We 
take two hundred of them and boil them for supper. These lobsters are 
from one to four inches long, are insipid, but were thought to taste like 
the large lobster. Our men eat them raw as a relish. 

Mr. Bird returns to the Red Jacket in the evening, having been to 
the small islands that lie off this channel. They are ten miles from the 
Manatoulin and five from the Canada shore. He can see stations that 
he erects on these islands from Drummond's and the Manatoulin, but 
not vice versa, and thinks there is sufficient shelter there to form a har- 
bor for the Red Jacket. He also says that he saw a channel thro' to the 
lake below the island which we have heretofore believed the Great 
Manatoulin — That this island is consequently one of the Manatoulin 
but not the Great Manitou, and is but about 3 miles long. This error 
confirms my belief that there is as little truth or knowledge of this coun- 
try in the accounts we get from the voyageurs as in the maps. 

Sunday, August 20. Clear and pleasant day. Tempe. at noon 71 , 
the same yesterday. Remain on board the Red Jacket most of the day. 
Two of the men go hunting on the Manitou and return with nothing 
but a brace of partridges and a pigeon. They saw no wild animals what- 
ever and were prevented penetrating the woods because of their thick 
brambles and scraggy growth. The land covered with rock, but little 
soil. There grows on the beach a wild cherry (sand cherry) that is 
palatable. It is black when ripe and larger than our wild cherry. Grows 
on a low bush that lies on the ground, which is from three to four feet in 
length. The timber on these islands cedar, pine and birch, as of the 
whole country around that I've yet seen. 

Monday, August 21. Leave our snug harbor between Drummond's 
and the first Manitou, for another more central to the operations of the 
survey. Get under way about 8 o'clock, with a south wind, run thro' 
the channel toward the Canada maine, and come to in a cluster of 
small islands that lie N. of this channel and ten miles distant & five 
miles from the maine shore. Soundings at thirty four fathoms midway 
between these islands and the first Manitou. Discover very distinctly a 
fine broad passage between the first Manitou and what we now suppose 
to be the Great Manitou. Mr. Stevenson leaves us abreast of the N. 
point of Drummond's Island where he goes to occupy the stations that 
connect these islands with that. 

In the afternoon land on one of these islands and find the lime stone 


exceedingly full of petrifactions of shells. Take specimens. Our anchor- 
age not being very good, the captain goes in search of better but reports 
the bottom to be stony in all directions. 

Mr. Bird lands on another of them in the evening to make a signal 
preconcerted with Stevenson by lighting of fires. He returns by ten 
o'clock and states that he saw Mr. Stevenson's signal on the N. point of 
Drummond's and another opposite on the Manitou, to wit, large fires, 
and that he had the fortune to measure the angles of both, so that these 
islands are connected in their work with those more important ones, 
giving us their distance and situation. We had feared from their dis- 
tance that it would have been difficult if not impracticable to do so, by 
this mode of survey. There is little doubt but what the large fire lighted 
by Mr. Bird was distinctly seen and used by Mr. Stevenson to observe 
upon, a method sufficiently accurate for our purpose in this particular 
situation, which cannot be debatable, but not equally accurate with 
most of the previous work. 

Tuesday, August 22. Mr. Bird leaves the Red Jacket for an island 
some miles N. & W. (5 miles) of the groupe we lie in; establishes his 
stations; preconcerts a signal with Mr. DeRussy to observe at night, to 
wit, a fire upon the island he occupied last night. Land upon three of 
the adjacent islands. One of them has its shores of dark colored strati- 
fied lime stone very full of shells of various kinds, and affords large and 
handsome slabs or masses to polish. When polished, some of it is of 
dark yellow or brown & some nearly black. There are roll'd masses of 
primitive rock upon the points of this island. The next island is more 
mixed in its formation, the one end being of lime stone, which has a 
vein running across the island containing much sulphuret of iron and 
terminates in high cliffs of hard rock that may be called quartzy sand 
stone. This rock is broken into great rhomboidal masses having a dip 
of about 30", but lying contiguous to each other. Another small island 
is of more remarkable formation. The high rock is a coarse and hard 
trap. The next is finer & the lowest apparent is a coarser & hard slaty 
rock, the first running by gradations into the last. Many of these rocks 
are traversed by veins of white quartz, and rocks of white quartz and 
chlorite are numerous. No lime stone upon this island. Polish a piece 
of the shell lime stone of the first island, which proves a handsome 
marble. Find the petrifaction of part of a very large fish. It shows its 
articulations distinctly and is a species of orthocera. 

At night Messrs. DeRussy and Bird light their fires as signals. Mr. 
Stevenson's are not seen. A storm prevents Mr. Bird's return to the 

Wednesday, August 23. Mr. Bird reaches the vessel to breakfast, 
having slept on the island where his last station is, on account of bad 


Visit an island three miles distant that abounds in petrifactions of a 
fish not seen before (orthocera) . The island is mixed of a hard quartzy 
stone, sand stone and lime stone. The primitive stone or rock is alto- 
gether too principal to admit the idea of their having been brought 
here from other places, by any convulsions subsequent to the grand 
chaos & is, I think, in situ. 

Mr. Bird leaves the vessel in the afternoon for the island he occupied 
last night preparatory to his evening observations, and Mr. DeRussy 
goes to another to light a fire as a distant signal, both for Mr. Bird and 
Mr. Stevenson on Drummond's Island. We lie about 10 miles North of 
Drummond's. The before mentioned rock composing much of these 
islands is the quartzy sand stone terminating in slate. They are stratified 
and are of the transition rocks, que. primitive. Some of the lime stone 
contains an oily substance of strong odor and dark color and is like the 
bituminous limestone of Lake Erie and Buffalo. This oil is collected 
and called Seneca Oil in State of New York (Bitumen). It is only found 
to my knowledge in lime stone containing petrifactions. 

Mr. Bird returns at midnight to the vessel, having observed from his 
station two fires by Mr. Stevenson on Drummond's Island and one on 
the Manitou. 

Thursday, August 24. Mr. Bird employs the morning in surveying 
the islands where the vessel lies. Establishes the latitude of these islands 
to be 46V. 

Find on one of them some good petrifactions of shells and a part of a 
very large orthocera that was probably 6 inches diameter, its present 
breadth being that much. 

Friday, August 25. Mr. Stevenson and Mr. Best return from Drum- 
mond's Island to the Red Jacket, and in the afternoon Mr. Bird leaves 
the vessel for the Canada shore, five or six miles distant. The wind high 
from S.E. During the afternoon a continuance of thunder showers and 
high wind from all points between S.E. and N.W. Mr. Stevenson gives 
me a specimen of shell petrifactions broken from the top of a cliff on 
Drummond's Island, 150 feet above level of the lake. 

August 26. A gale of wind from the W. which continues to increase 
during the day. In the morning we saw Mr. Bird in the Lady of the 
Lakes running off the Canada shore. He makes the lee of an island 
East of the vessel half a mile, where he is obliged to remain. Spend most 
of the morning on the adjacent island amongst petrifactions of shell fish 
of various kinds. Find Epidote in pretty good chrystals and mixed with 
white quartz. The gale increases to an alarming degree, not knowing 
whether our anchorage would prove secure. In the afternoon a heavy 
sea breaks the skiff from her moorings astern of the vessel and she is 
driven down the lake between the Manitou and the Canada maine, it 


having been judged impracticable or unsafe to attempt to recover her 
by putting off in another boat. 

Mr. Stevenson is obliged to remain on board the vessel on account of 
the tremendous gale; and we are relieved from any anxiety on Mr. 
Bird's account, as we see him on the island to the leeward where he 
encamps and remains with his boat's crew for the night. 

The gale continues 'til midnight with great violence, and we retire 
satisfied of the security of the vessel, the anchorage having been well 
tried during the day 

Wind W.N.W., Tempe. at noon 6i°. Cloudy with some rain. 

Sunday, August 27. Clear, wind W.N.W. Gale abated, but wind 
fresh. Mr. Bird makes the vessel with his crew at daybreak. States that 
the Canada main North of us is very rocky — The shore indented with 
bays but the reefs of rocks numerous & dangerous. The formations 

Messrs. Stevenson, DeRussy & myself go on a mineralizing expedi- 
tion to an island three miles East of us, and return in the afternoon 
amply compensated in good specimens of fossils of various kinds. The 
prominent points on the north sides of these islands generally are tran- 
sition rocks. Transition lime stone on the south sides. 

The remains of very large fish are numerous (orthocera) , but none 
found entire. 

The quartzy sand stone rocks are stratified and have inclinations at 
the angles of 23 . 

The remains of many of the orthocera very much resemble human 
bones of the leg. The fossil tar, or Seneca Oil, or bitumen of lime stone 
is found in much of the stone containing petrifactions. Large masses of 
chrystallized carbonate of lime, mostly rhomboidal, may be found on 
the shores of these islands detached, and is seen in the rock. The hollow 
parts of petrifactions are sometimes filled with transparent carbonate 
of lime adding to their beauty. 

Monday, August 28. Mr. Bird goes to the Canada maine to occupy 
some and place other stations. Mr. Stevenson goes to an island East of 
us for same purpose, and Messrs. DeRussy and Best accompany him 
to traverse and delineate that island. We are, on account of the loss of 
a boat in the late gale, left without the means of getting on shore. Find 
ample employ on board the Red Jacket in arranging minerals and with 
the aid of a book forget my imprisonment. 

Messrs. Stevenson, DeRussy and Best return in the evening from the 
island East of us the two latter having traversed & delineated the shores 
of the same, and the former was prevented occupying the stations with 
his theodolite on account of a thick smoke that obscured the main 
shores and neighboring islands. 


They brought with them several fragments of petrifactions of very 
large orthocera, from three to six inches diameter. There is on this 
island a ridge of rock ioo feet above the lake that affords a handsome 
demonstration of the waters having at some time overflowed it, viz., a 
beach of small round pebbles of quartz & lime stone &c. of about 10 
rods in length, and strewed regularly as on a beach. The rock itself is 
of the quartzy sand stone kind and is in some places nearly all quartz 
of ordinary character. We have called this island High Beach Island, 
by which name it is known by all of our people. 

Tuesday, August 29. The sun rises perfectly bright, but the at- 
mosphere is soon obscured with smoke that arises from the fires in the 
woods on the Manatoulin & Drummond's. Messrs. Stevenson and Best 
leave us on a tour of duty for two or three days to the islands & main 
shore. The atmosphere having been obscured with smoke throughout 
the day, no use could have been made of the theodolites either by Mr. 
Stevenson or Mr. Bird, the latter having been on the Canada main the 
two days past. In the evening Mr. Bird returns having whilst absent 
fixed his stations along the main and the islands North and West of us 
until he came in sight of the stations of the British party, and as far as 
he considers his section of the survey to extend. 

Wednesday, August 30. The sun rises bright but the atmosphere as 
yesterday is soon obscured by a fog and not a smoke as we heretofore 
have concluded. As nothing could be done with the theodolite, Mr. 
Bird makes up his notes, and in the afternoon he and Mr. DeRussy go 
on a tour of duty for some days; the Red Jacket to take another station 
as soon as Mr. Stevenson shall have completed the work in this neigh- 
borhood which one bright day would allow him to do. 

A very fine schist or slate is found on the surrounding islands from 
which I make excellent hones, as do others of the party. 

In the afternoon and evening thunder showers with gusts of wind. 
Rain throughout the night with thunder & lightning. Wind from all 
points, a circumstance not uncommon in twenty four hours on Lake 

Thursday, August 31st. Cold and cloudy morning. At 6 o'clock 
a heavy rain with snow that clears away by 8 o'clock and leaves an 
atmosphere sufficiently bright to use the theodolite in short distances. 
Heavy lowering clouds. The party of surveyors all out on duty as yester- 

The rain was mixed with snow but for a few minutes. Ther. at noon 
6i°, at 6 a.m. 50 . 

It continues cloudy throughout the day and occasionally a little rain. 
The wind high from W.N.W., and the sky and atmosphere both abun- 
dantly indicate the approach of Autumn on Lake Huron at an early 



September 1 . Clear and cool day, wind high, from W.N.W. Remain 
on board the Red Jacket, feeling the want of a boat very much. Mr. 
Bird absent in the Lady of the Lakes and Mr. Stevenson in the Black 
Jack. For the latter begin to grow a little anxious, knowing that he must 
be out of provisions, having taken a supply for two days only, and this 
being the fourth since his departure. Head and high winds rendering 
his return impracticable. Toward evening Messrs. Bird and DeRussy 
return to the vessel in The Lady, having occupied all the stations on 
the main as far as his section extends West, as well as on some of the 
islands. The Thepsalon River comes in as laid down on Purdy's map 
pretty nearly. The coast is rocky, the small islands or large rocks in- 
numerable. On the Thepsalon is a trading post of the North West Com- 
pany, not seen, however, by Mr. Bird. 

At midnight Messrs. Stevenson and Best return to the Red Jacket in 
the Black Jack, having been four days absent on two days' provisions. 
Mr. Stevenson states that in pursuance of his instructions he proceeded 
to establish stations on the chain of islands N.E. of us, extending toward 
the main, and that altho' not apparent because in line and they de- 
crease in size, they proved to be very numerous. He followed the chain 
about 15 miles which brought him to a river called the Mississaga, 
where is also a trading post of the North West Company. This river is 
small and has fourteen portages between its mouth and a small lake 
in the interior where it takes its rise. The traders call it twenty days' 
tour to this lake. There are 13 Indian families only upon the river 
Mississaga. The post is at a point where the river divides and passes 
thro' two branches into the lake and is two miles from the lake — Mr. 
Stevenson here saw the first white man or hut seen since we left Drum- 
mond's Island. The trader established there is a Canadian, comfortably 
posted. Has a log house of two rooms, & storehouse. Cultivates a few 
potatoes. Has a horse and cow which complete his establishment. 
There were several Indians at the post who had brought in skins and 
come to barter for provisions. Their hunt is nearly exhausted as well as 
themselves. They are considered indolent and only bring in furs when 
they are much in want of provisions &c. 

Messrs. Stevenson & Best could not add to their provisions here. The 
trader like themselves was in want. The Indians, however, gladly 
furnished a piece of a sturgeon and some pigeons for a little pork; and 
the trader said he would be glad to exchange his potatoes for pork and 
whiskey. From Mississaga to Thepsalon River is 30 miles. 

The wind dies away at night and Mr. Stevenson is enabled to return. 
He reaches the vessel at midnight; and was as happy to sit down to 
some cold pork and hard bread as I was to be relieved from anxiety 
on his account and those with him. 


September 2. Clear and pleasant. Messrs. Bird and DeRussy leave 
us in The Lady on a tour of duty to the North end of the section of 
survey, to be absent until the vessel shall make a harbor assigned in 
that quarter, which will be as soon as Mr. Stevenson shall have com- 
pleted the work at the East end of the section. 

We get under way in the Red Jacket, and make another harbor 
between two islands about three miles East, that affords a better pro- 
tection from the N.W. winds; and is in other respects more convenient. 
Moor the vessel in a narrow pass between two islands at 1 o'clock per- 
fectly land lock'd in every direction. In the afternoon, land on the 
larger island of the two, and ascend the cliff, where is a pebble beach 
150 ft. above level of lake. The pebbles are mostly lime stone; the cliffs 
& nearly all the island, quartz rock. 

Mr. Stevenson leaves the vessel in the afternoon for an island N.W. 
of us, to light a fire as a station signal for Mr. Bird to connect it with 
others. The night is clear but wind very high. Capt. Gillett accompanies 
Mr. Stevenson. 

Sunday, September 3. The party all absent save self, Fraser and 
Best. After breakfast get on shore on the island near us by means of a 
little log canoe, picked up near the vessel, that had been driven on 
shore. The canoe was split and mutilated, but by great care in sitting 
perfectly still and keeping an exact poise succeeded in reaching the 
island. Proceed on a mineralizing expedition with a biscuit in my 
pocket, resolved to remain on shore 'til the return of the Black Jack to 
the Red Jacket, rather than risk another cruise in the little canoe. 
Traverse the shore and discover some very large and fine petrifactions 
of orthocera. Succeed in breaking out one about two feet long, and 
another having a green unctuous substance where the siphuncle is. 
Observe others but could neither break them out the rocks nor carry 
them when broken out. The island generally is of quartzy sand stone 
formation, sometimes a stratum of lime stone appears which contains 
these petrifactions. It is, however, nearly all primitive. On my return 
to the vessel, find that Mr. Stevenson had returned with the boat, by 
which I get on board. 

Monday, September 4. Clear and temperate. Mr. Stevenson goes 
to the Canada main, East of us, to observe at his stations there, and 
returns in the evening having completed his work in that neighborhood. 
After breakfast I land on the island near us, called Stonefish Island by 
the party, to mineralize and Capt. Gillett accompanies me with a man 
in Mr. Stevenson's boat to construct a raft, by which we may pass from 
the vessel to the shore in the absence of our two boats. Return about 
one o'clock and find the raft afloat by which I get on board, and Crusoe 
like, depend upon the resources of the wilderness and my own wits for 


transportation. The raft, altho' very clumsy, sufficiently answers the 
purpose when it is calm. In a wind is unmanageable and we are con- 
fined to the vessel. 

Tuesday, September 5. Remain on board the Red Jacket through- 
out the day, having heretofore explored the islands in the immediate 

Put up a box of petrifactions in travelling order for New York. Find 
a good substitute for paper &c, in the moss of rocks that answers the 
purpose of packing very well. 

Amongst the mosses of the rocks there is one frequently used by 
Voyageurs and others for food. I have been told of persons having sub- 
sisted upon this moss for the space of three months. Mr. Pomeville, of 
the British party, says he has used it principally as a subsistence for 
about that time when a fur trader. It is boiled for use. Lay by a speci- 
men of it. Mr. Stevenson concludes the survey of this end of the section 
and announced his readiness to sail to the other to meet Mr. Bird. We 
wait a wind for that purpose. 

The moss is the Tripe du roche of the Voyageurs and of Botanists. 

Wednesday, September 6. A perfect calm throughout the day 
obliges us to remain at anchor in our snug harbor unable of course to 
co-operate with Mr. Bird, who fortunately has been absent since Satur- 
day in the west end of the section, and has had mild and calm weather 
to conduct the survey. 

Thursday, September 7. Rain without wind in the morning occa- 
sions us to fear that we will be under the necessity of remaining at 
anchor another day. About eleven o'clock it clears away and a light 
breeze from the S.E. induces us to get under way for the upper end of 
this section of survey, where we arrive at sun set. Come to anchor on 
the S.E. side of an island that lies off the Thepsalon River, and is called 
Thepsalon Island, in a bay forming a pretty good harbor particularly 
for north and west winds. When distant a few miles discover Mr. Bird's 
tents in the bottom of this bay, and before we arrive there he and Mr. 
DeRussy board us. They had been anxiously awaiting our arrival, 
their stores having failed them two days ago. They found, however, 
Mr. Thompson encamped within ten miles of them, who added a little 
to their subsistence, but when we arrived they were without bread and 

The British party are about connecting their work with this end of 
our section. The Confiance is somewhere in harbor near us to the 
North but not in sight. Their party is to proceed, when this section is 
completed, to the Great Manitou and the channel between that and 
the first, or Little Manitou, and we to the S. side of Drummond's 


Friday, September 8. A very thick fog, with an easterly wind in the 
morning. Clinton is dispatched after breakfast in a skiff (procured from 
the British party to replace our lost boat) to Drummond's Island for 
provisions, and our letters and papers. Send with him Grant as an oars- 
man but have some fear from the course he was seen steering that he 
would be lost for a time in the fog. It clears away about eleven o'clock 
and we feel a sure hope of hearing from our friends by Clinton tomor- 

Mr. Bird employs his men cutting a Base Line on Thepsalon Island. 
Had great difficulty in finding a place suitable for a Base Line & as he 
progresses doubts whether the present will answer his purpose. 

Thepsalon Island has more soil upon it than any that I have been 
upon, but not sufficient to call it a tillable island. Mr. Thompson has 
found it impracticable to find a place for his Base Line to close his work 
of this section on account of the extreme rockiness, irregularity and un- 
suitable positions of the islands for such a purpose. 

Mr. Stevenson and self explore the shores of Thepsalon Island in 
search of minerals. Find good petrifactions of orthocera. Saw some in 
the rocks four feet in length and nine inches diameter at the upper end. 
The heads & tails of the large orthocera are generally wanting. Pretty 
good chrystals of iron pyrites, mixed with carbonate of lime are found 
here. Thepsalon Island is of the transition sand stone and lime stone, 
and the bays are covered with rolled masses of primitive stones. It is 
about three miles in circumference and longer than any of the islands 
in this groupe N. & W. from end of Drummond's. 

Saturday, September gth. Messrs. Bird and Stevenson go to Drum- 
mond's Island to search for a proper place for a Base Line, and find one 
there a mile in length. DeRussy and Best traverse and delineate Thep- 
salon Island. 

At 10 o'clock we see the Confiance off our harbor, and soon after Mr. 
Gibbs arrives in Mr. Thompson's boat, and Mr. Ferguson in his own. 
From them we learn that their party was then moving to their new 
section of survey, i.e. to survey the channel between the Small and the 
Great Manitou. As we were now anxiously waiting the return of Clin- 
ton with our mail, Mr. Ferguson concludes to remain to receive his 
letters & papers from home; and the wind and weather both proving 
unfavorable Gibbs and Ferguson spend the day and night on board the 
Red Jacket, their crews encamping on shore. In the afternoon we see 
the Lady of the Lakes returning, having in tow the skiff that was dis- 
patched for our mail. As she nears us all the party collect on the quarter 
deck anxiously anticipating the pleasant and unpleasant tidings that 
are to be disclosed to them in a few minutes, from their friends that 
have been unheard of for a three months past. Altho' an observer of the 
scene my own feelings were no doubt betrayed in an anxious counte- 


nance. On the arrival of the boat the scene was suddenly changed from 
looks of hope and pleasure to those of anger, and in one or two cases, 
despair. Our messenger announced: 'No letters! No mail!' Whether the 
married or the single felt the greatest disappointment was as well a 
doubt as a joke to help drive away the general gloom. Upon a full com- 
parison of notes, however, it would seem that the former had the greater 
reason. Newly married, most of them, with infant families or infants in 
embryo, as the case might be, it was conceded that news from home had 
some additional interest to the former tho' perhaps none more dear 
than to the latter. We all spend the night on board drowning our sor- 
rows as well as we can. 

At night a very heavy and continued rain, with much lightning. 

The explanation why our mail was not brought proved to be that a 
few hours before the arrival of Clinton at Drummond's Island Mr. 
Anderson, 1 the Collector, had dispatched an Indian with the packets 
tor us, and instructed him to search amongst the Manitou for our 
vessel or party. 

Sunday, September 10. Cloudy with showers. Messrs. Ferguson and 
Gibbs take leave of us after breakfast for their section of survey at the 
head of the Great Manitou. 

In the afternoon, Messrs. Bird, Stevenson and self take the skiff and 
go upon a mineralizing expedition on Thepsalon Island. Discover a 
large canoe making around the point of the island toward Drummond's 
which at first we hope and believe to be the Indian canoe dispatched 
with our letters in search of us; but soon perceive from her great size 
and number of hands that she is a Trader's Canoe with Voyageurs. Upon 
seeing our boat she stops and we put off to her. She proved to be a large 
birch canoe, with a party of Canadian fur traders belonging to the Lake 
Winnipeg Country, just from Montreal. Eight paddles and the trader 
seated like a Nabob in their center composed the party. The trader at 
once told that he belonged to Lake Winnipeg, had been to Montreal to 
buy goods and was returning with three canoes loaded; that he had 
been in the employ of Lord Selkirk and made sufficient earnings to 
trade for himself; that this was his first voyage to Montreal in the 
thirty years past. He appeared to be an intelligent man, and his great 
strength, health and activity gave evidence of his ability to endure the 
rudeness of the life he leads. His crew were much of the same appearance 
and in high spirits. His birchen canoe was of the first class and hand- 
somely decorated. Upon the prow was written its name: Pret-a-Boyre, 

1 William Anderson, born Chester Co., Pa., in 1763 and died there in 1829. A 
colonel on staff of Lafayette, later a member of Congress, a county judge, and a col- 
lector of customs. 


Ready to Drink. When we noticed it, by one of the party mentioning 
the name, the Canadians gave a shout of gratification, and the trader 
forthwith ordered some drink, upon which the pilot raised a 10 gll. 
keg of rum and poured some into a one-gallon measure which was 
handed to the trader who, pouring some into a pint cup, pass'd it to 
us. We drank to them & the trader and his pilot did the like, after 
which the usual courtesies of a politer clime than that of Lake Huron 
were exchanged, & we parted. They, in full chorus, and in conscious 
pride of their skill and rapid progress, were soon wafted out of sight 
and hearing; and we made the best row we could to the island to take 
shelter from a heavy shower approaching. Voyageurs like, we instantly 
upon landing form'd a tent by placing some poles against a tree and, 
throwing our oil cloth over them, we crawl under our roof and are 
sheltered from as heavy and pitiless a thunder storm as ever arrested 
the progress of the Voyageur. It shortly cleared off and we sallied out to 
our boat, and after visiting the parts of the island where the fish petri- 
factions abound and making our selection, returned to the Red Jacket. 

The trader's birch canoe made a harbor to the lee of a neighboring 
island, where they remained for the night. They had not stop'd since 
they left Les Cloches, which is about 30 leagues from this and only 
stop'd to breakfast or dine in their canoe. The trader informed us in a 
few words that there was no news of moment at Montreal, that the new 
Govt, of the Provinces (Dalhousie) had entered upon the duties of his 
office; that money was very scarce and goods cheap. His men made us 
understand that the North West Company, to use their language, was 
very poor this year, meaning that the Indians brought in but few furs 
to them; and at the same time evincing their partiality to the Hudson's 
Bay Compy. In truth, these men, now independent traders, were 
formerly the partisans of Ld. Selkirk 1 and still remain attached to his 
cause. Selkirk by establishing such men as these in the fur trade on 
their own account, has given the North West & probably the South 
West a blow that they may not recover from very readily. 

The country known as the Les Cloches lies on the North side of Lake 
Huron commencing at a point known by that name and extending to 
Thepsalon Point, about one hundred miles in length. It takes its name 
from the tinkling sound of the rocks on that coast when struck by a 
hammer &c. These rocks are probably the clink stone, of which I have 

1 Thomas Douglas, Earl of Selkirk, born in Scotland in June 1 771 , died 1820. 
Financed settlements of Scottish people on Prince Edward's Island and on the Red 
River on a great tract of land he had obtained there. The last brought him in conflict 
with the Northwest Trading Company. In 1816 he visited the colony and restored 
the people to their lands from which they had been driven. Copies of his papers, 
mosdy unpublished, are in the Canadian Archives Department at Ottawa. 


seen considerable quantity on the islands about the head of the 

Monday, September 1 1 . Cloudy, with showers throughout the day, 
and a cold wind from the N.W. Wind very high obliges the whole party 
to remain on board the Red Jacket, it not being safe to venture in our 
boats on the lake, where the business of the survey called. At night the 
storm abates & gale of wind lulls. The Aurora Borealis very luminous 
on the horizon under the heavy clouds that cover the heavens. In the 
course of the night the Northern Lights became more luminous and 
reached the zenith. 

Among the phenomena of the season, witnessed by Mr. Bird was a 
very remarkable appearance of distant objects commonly called the 
looming of them, and known as the refraction of them (mirage) . He 
distinctly saw three Islands over each other. He states that the beach 

and the trees of each island were distinctly seen. It was at o'clock 

of the day. The object itself was repeated twice, that is, three objects 
were seen over each other, the island included. This degree of refraction 
is considered remarkable, it not being recollected by me that an object 
has been seen more than once refracted so very distinctly. The same 
appearance in a less degree of the islands West of the vessel, was ob- 
served on the same day by Capt. Gillett and myself, but did not exceed 
the ordinary looming of objects as expressed by seamen. 

Tuesday, September 12. Clear with a high N.W. wind but not so 
strong as to prevent the surveyors setting off to their respective stations. 
Mr. Bird goes with the Lady of the Lakes to Drummond's Island, and 
Mr. DeRussy accompanies him in the skiff to the same place, to employ 
their men during the day upon their Base Line, and in the night to light 
several fires for observation. Mr. Stevenson goes to an island eight miles 
West of us, for the purpose of lighting corresponding fires with Mr. 
Bird, by which they are to measure the angles of those several stations 
or fires. The day continues clear and proves a fine day for the work. 

We are without a boat on board the Red Jacket, consequently 
obliged to remain in the vessel, within 100 yards of the shore, the more 
to my dissatisfaction, as the Thepsalon Island abounds in good speci- 
mens of petrifactions, that I should like more deliberately to use my 
hammer and chisel upon. 

Wednesday, September 13. Clear and pleasant day. Wind fresh 
from S. & S.E., which toward evening becomes a gale. 

Remain as yesterday on board the Red Jacket throughout the day, 
for the want of a boat. About sunset Mr. Stevenson returns with the 
Black Jack. He did not see the fire that it was understood Mr. Bird was 
to light last night on Drummond's Island. He made so large a fire on 
the island he went to, that he thinks Mr. Bird must have observed it. 


On that island, Mr. Stevenson found the field turnip growing and 
brought us some for supper. There had been an Indian camp there, 
and they may have scattered the seed in the Spring. He also found 
there several varieties of compound rocks not observed before. Among 
the most interesting was a compound of Epidote and Amianthus — Some 
Porphyries &c. Mr. Stevenson also went to Thepsalon Point where 
he occupied a station to good advantage, having a bright atmosphere 
that enabled him to see distant stations. Mr. Bird was twelve or fifteen 
miles distant from Mr. Stevenson last night, at which distance fires well 
lighted might be well seen. The non-observance of them, he cannot 
account for. 

At night the gale increases, wind S., and it rains for the greater part 
of the night. 

Thursday, September 14. The gale still strong from the S. & S.W. 
Toward noon, it dies away and Mr. Bird and Mr. DeRussy return in 
the Lady of the Lakes from Drummond's Island to the Red Jacket at 
Thepsalon Island, a distance of about 10 miles. They had suffered con- 
siderably from the rain, but the greater inconvenience was the fact of 
their not having seen Mr. Stevenson's fire on Tuesday evening. They 
state also that they did make three very large fires on Drummond's 
Island agreeably to arrangement, none of which were seen by Mr. 
Stevenson. This circumstance can only be accounted for by some pecul- 
iar state of the atmosphere. Fires were seen heretofore from and at the 
same stations. The sky was almost entirely clear and the atmosphere 
light and dry. The fires they say sent a flame 20 feet high. Distance 15 

In the afternoon, they again set off for their respective stations to 
repeat the fires and take the necessary observations, but they both find 
it impracticable to proceed on account of the sea running and the wind 
and the threatening of a storm at night, and about sunset both boats 
from different routes reach the Red Jacket in safety. The storm of rain 
continues at night. The wind falls. Wind at night W.S.W. 

Friday, September 15. Clear, wind high from S. & S.W. Messrs. 
Bird and Stevenson find it impracticable to cross to their respective 
stations on account of the gale. All hands remain on board the Red 
Jacket until afternoon, when the wind falling a little, Mr. Bird in The 
Lady crosses to Drummond's Island & Mr. Stevenson in the Black 
Jack sets off for the island about 10 miles N.E. of us to light the same 
fires for observation, that they failed to see heretofore. In the evening, 
the wind changes to N.N.W., is light and the atmosphere clear, favor- 
able for seeing fires at long distances. 

Saturday, September 16. Cloudy, wind strong from S.W. In the 
afternoon heavy rain. 


Mr. Stevenson returns and says that he distinctly saw two fires made 
by Mr. Bird on Drummond's and was enabled to observe upon the 
same. Mr. Bird returns and states that he could not see Mr. Stevenson's, 
so as to use it for observation. That by climbing up a tree, his fire was 
very apparent, but that at his instrument, at the foot of that tree, no 
fire was perceptible. In fact, that upon one branch of the tree he could 
see the fire and on the branch below, it could not be seen. The distance 
between the two objects, or the convexity of the earth was of course 
the obstruction. The island upon which Mr. Stevenson made his fire 
was nearly upon a level with the water. Mr. Bird was some feet above 
the water. 

Capt. Gillett and myself go in search of petrifactions on Thepsalon 
Island, and discover a bed of orthocera in a good state of preservation 
where any quantity could be collected by overturning the thin strata 
of lime stone in which they were imbedded. Lay by a considerable pile 
of them, and in the afternoon go with the boat and bring them on 
board. In the afternoon a heavy wind and rain causes a hard pull and 
wet jackets as a set-off against our good specimens of orthocera. Several 
new species are found among the orthocera of this island, for which see 
paper by Dr. Bigsby in London Geo. Soc. Trans. 

Sunday, September 17. Clear and cool, wind fresh from W. and 

At day break get under way from Thepsalon Island for the bay on 
the N.W. side of Drummond's Island, in which bay is the Indian 
village or settlement called Portaganasing. Come to anchor in the lee of 
a small island in this bay next to the island where the Indian village is. 
This bay is of very considerable extent in depth and width and con- 
tains a group of several small islands, forming altogether the most 
beautiful neighborhood for scenery and soil that we have as yet seen 
upon Lake Huron. This group of islands is timbered with poplar, pine, 
birch & spruce trees and not so rocky as those we have left. 

After the Red Jacket was moored we visited the Indian settlement. 
It lies on the side of an island nearest Drummond's Island & about 
half a mile distant. Consists of 7 or 8 bark huts on an eminence. When 
we came in sight off the settlement the Indians and squaws seemed a 
good deal surprised & when we landed, some of the squaws took to the 
fields, others hid themselves in their huts; the few Indians collected in 
a groupe to receive us. We inquired for their Captain or Chief and 
gave him some pork. The others soon bro't us an abundance of good 
potatoes to barter and the Chief sent some as a return for the pork. 
There was living among them a Frenchman, thro' whom we made 
ourselves understood. His family were half breeds and rather well 
looking, particularly one of his young squaws, but her modesty pre- 


vented our observing her good looks very critically, as she retired to the 
fields or other huts as we approached. They were mostly employed 
making bark canoes and drying their corn over a slow fire for winter 
use. The corn is spread upon a framework of withes raised four feet 
from the ground under which is kept up a slow fire, until the corn is 
well dried or partially roasted. It is dried in this way when green & on 
the cob. Their bark canoes were handsome and well made. The women 
do much of the work upon them. A good canoe, never used, was offered 
to me for six dollars; it was about 15 feet long & well finished. Not 
knowing how to transport it, Maj'r Fraser purchased it for Black Rock. 
I ordered a small bark canoe made as a model, and bark baskets used 
by them as curiosities, for my New York friends. They were much 
gratified with their pork and forthwith went to eating of it. In the course 
of the day two or three other canoes came off, with potatoes and 
squashes. They did not bring any fish, and complained of the high 
winds that had prevented their fishing. These poor creatures seemed 
much in want of provisions and clothing. In the Winter their distress 
must be great. There are no deer taken by them, from which they 
might get good skins to cover them. Their Chief and the Frenchman, 
however, had deerskin leggings and shirts. In the afternoon we walked 
around an island near us, but found it destitute of interest for minerals. 
The shores of this group of islands are low, timbered nearly to the water, 
covered with small pebbles, and bold. 

In the morning a boat was dispatched to the Post on Drummond's 
Island, in search of our lost mail, by the way of the portage. In the 
evening it returns and brings us a Black Rock mail by the schooner 
Hope & Govt. Gore to the 28th August. Gen'l Porter requests me to 
take charge of the party and allow Maj'r Fraser to return by perform- 
ing the duties he was charged with. Maj'r Fraser concludes to go to 
Drummond's in the morning to take passage in the Hope, and we 
prepare our return letters for him at night. I write home & to Gen'l 
Porter. 1 

Monday, September 18. Clear and pleasant. Messrs. Bird, Steven- 
son and Best go to the Base Line cutting on the N. point of Drummond's 
to complete same. Maj'r Fraser takes leave of us, for Black Rock. He 
goes to the Post on Drummond's to take passage in a schooner there, 
The Hope. I go to the Indian village with DeRussy & the Captain to 
bring away a bark canoe bought yesterday. Find but few women & 
children, and no men about the village. We learned that they had gone 

1 These letters are missing from the Mss. of General Porter and of Major Delafield, 
in the National Archives. 


off to dig and carry away their potatoes to their hiding places. They all 
have secret deposits for their potatoes, to prevent others stealing them. 
They mostly carried them away in their canoes to the neighboring 
islands, where they bury them. 

The half breed Indian of whom the canoe was bought refused to sell 
it, because we had not sent for it yesterday when bought. It was an 
Indian bargain. We afterwards learned that this fellow was a noted 
scoundrel. The disappointment placed us under the necessity of employ- 
ing a Canadian found in the potato fields to take us back to the 
schooner. He would not go without a gift of four pounds of pork. 

About noon we were gratified by the arrival of the Indian messenger, 
dispatched 10 days ago with our mail from Drummond's, in search of 
us. The poor fellow had encountered very boisterous weather and been 
down the Manitou as far as 2nd channel. Had found the Confiance, 
where he got instructions and came to us here. I paid him a dollar per 
day for his services and gave him provisions for his return. Upon asking 
where was his home he said in his canoe. He had no residence more 
permanent. His squaw & three brats and gun, & fish spear, were his 
companions. He became troublesome after a gift of some whiskey, and 
came on board oftener than I found his society agreeable. We gave 
him pork, bread & whiskey & he encamped opposite the vessel, to rest 
himself until the morrow, when he assured us he would come for 
another outfit for his voyage. 

Tuesday, September 19th. Morning cloudy. Sharp frost at day 
break, wind N.W. About 9 o'clock Clinton, the steward, returns from 
Drummond's. He states that The Hope got under way yesterday eve- 
ning, with Maj'r Fraser as passenger. He learned thro' the Master of The 
Hope that Govr. Cass had returned from his expedition, the Master 
having seen his canoes in Saint Clair River on his passage up. 

The Indians bring us fish, black bass and pike taken in gill nets; a 
great treat, so long since we have met with any. They preferred barter- 
ing them for pork & bread, to a sale for money. 

Mr. DeRussy goes in the afternoon to join Bird & Stevenson & Best. 
Capt. Gillett and myself are left alone on board the schooner, and were 
it not for the fortunate receipt of our mail it would feel lonesome and 
tedious to be confined in the vessel, without a boat to land us on the 
shores, even in this Bay of Portaganasing, where Lake Huron has 
surely more charms of soil, scenery, and I should add society than in 
any other place I have yet visited, save the town of Mackina. And this 
town as described by a gentleman of Gov. Cass' party in his letter as 
published should pass for a town of far more consequence for its build- 
ings, jurisprudence & society than my observations could discover. 

Wednesday, September 20th. We are obliged to pass our time on 


board the vessel, our boats being all absent on duty. No Indians come 
near us 'til noon, being all engaged digging, carrying away, and hiding 
their potatoes. Endeavor to employ an Indian with his canoe for my 
use in the absence of the boats. One promises to come to me, but does 
not. At noon, a canoe with six Indians, all young men but one, comes 
alongside. The young men are painted with black color. They bring 
some birch bark baskets, neatly made by their squaws, that I had en- 
gaged. These Indians are a good natured, laughing crew. They shewed 
more curiosity than I ever witnessed among them. The petrifactions of 
fish & shells about the deck they instantly comprehended & were inquisi- 
tive to know and see all. I shewed the old man chlorite and told him 
it would make pipes. He instantly picked up a chissel and satisfied him- 
self by scratching it, at which he seemed much gratified, and evidently 
did not know the stone, altho' pipes are made of it by some of the 
natives and are to be had in this neighborhood. 

In the evening Mr. DeRussy returns in the skiff and soon afterwards, 
Mr. Stevenson in the Black Jack. 

Thursday, September 21. At 9 o'clock Mr. Bird in the Lady of the 
Lakes comes to the Red Jacket, having closed the survey on the N. side 
of Drummond's by connecting his work with that already accomplished 
by Mr. Thompson. The wind being ahead and a gale, we are pre- 
vented proceeding with the vessel to our next station. 

In the morning land at the Indian village. Find but few of the men 
there. The young men and women seemed pleased at our appearance, 
but the Indians generally shewed an unwillingness to have us come 
among them, or notice their manner of living, etc. It may be accounted 
for in this settlement partly thro' shame, their condition being low and 
miserable compared to others, and partly to the prevailing spirit among 
all Indians to seclude themselves from the whites. Among their squaws 
were three or four young ones, the daughters of British officers of the 
49th formerly stationed upon St. Joseph's. They were much better 
looking than the others, and shewed their white parentage as much in 
their improved complexion, as partial European expression of face. 
In two instances we were told these girls were in the habit of taking 
husbands for the night; and only two of them in this settlement. The 
Indians do not allow prostitution among their squaws, and stern virtue 
is not a rare trait in the character of a Chippewa squaw. In domestic 
concerns the squaw has the greatest control. When the Indian is drunk 
the squaw is in terror, and obliged to submit to the will of the Indian. 
When sober, he seldom interferes with the wish of the squaw in the 
ordinary concerns about their huts. 

In the afternoon get under way with the vessel from near Porta- 
ganasing & run toward the harbor or Post on Drummond's Island. 


Steer in a straight line thro' the group of islands lying in this large bay, 
and come to anchor near the extreme point of the bay nearest the Post 
and about four miles distant. The water in this group of islands is from 
5 to 7 fathoms. The land low and islands of beautiful appearance tho' 
small, generally round. On this part of Drummond's Island the land 
lies low toward the lake and looks more like tillable land than any we 
have seen on Lake Huron. The islands to be included however as part 
of the tillable land. 

Go on shore abreast of the vessel. The shore is of light-colored lime 
stone, stratified and full of the fossil shells productae. Some madrepo- 
rites are also found here. Our anchorage in this bay was a good soft 
bottom. The same should be said of our anchorage near the Indian 
village, and in our harbor at Thepsalon Island. Beautiful chain coral 
in high relief from the lime stone and favosites, with some new madre- 
porites, are the principal fossils of Drummond's Island. 

Friday, September 22. At sun rise get under way and proceed 
toward the harbor of Drummond's Island, where is the military post. 
The wind being ahead and light, and at the same time a heavy sea 
from the lake, our progress is slow, and we do not reach the harbor 
'til 2 o'clock. Mr. Bird leaves the vessel with his boat's crew before we 
arrive off the harbor, and goes to the Point of the Detour to observe 
Mr. Thompson's station there, and place such others, as he may judge 
necessary. After we come to anchor Mr. Stevenson goes to the islands 
S.E. of the Post, and around the S.E. point of Drummond's. He found 
that neighborhood full of shoals and reefs of rocks, so that the naviga- 
tion for small boats was dangerous in the heavy sea that was then 
running. He does not get back to the vessel 'til late in the evening. Mr. 
Bird returns from the Detour, having arranged his stations there. 

Mr. Stevenson brings home some conservations of shells and some 
madreporites; also the compound of epidote and amianthus before 

Saturday, September 23. Cold, cloudy and high wind. Messrs. 
Bird and Stevenson spend the day establishing their stations on the 
several islands & points of the harbor, and some distance down the 
East shore. 

I make an excursion to the islands in the harbor, and explore the 
shores for minerals. These islands afford nothing of interest. Are 
covered with large masses of water worn lime stone and occasionally a 
few, rounded silicious pebbles. The Drummond's Island shore is of 
more interest. The lime stones contain several varieties of shells, and 
many varieties of beautiful amygdaloids are found here. The minerals 
of this shore are of considerable interest, and their compound character 
remarkable. Epidote, amianthus, jasper, calcareous spar, and some 
others are strangely intermixed. The varieties are kept. 


Our contiguity to the settlement has added but little to the comforts 
of our table. We can get no fish, no fresh meat, no fresh butter at 
Drummond's. As a great favor one of the residents procures us some 
mutton from a neighbor. When a sheep is killed it is distributed amongst 
the few who have animals to kill in their turn, and replaced when the 
neighbor kills. They would not sell us the mutton, but one of the par- 
ties permitted our steward to take his proportion, promising to return 
it, or rather its equivalent, when he killed. Some rain, a high North 
West wind and blustering cold day. Yesterday also gave ample demon- 
stration of an Equinoctial storm. At night we are all assembled on 
board the Red Jacket and make ourselves very comfortable. Before we 
retire, we take our last repast upon Cake and Preserves. Cake and Pre- 
serves in this remote corner of the boisterous Lake Huron; in this land 
of savages, rocks and sterility; in a party of pork-eaters and whisky- 
drinkers. How strange, how marvellous, & it might be added, how 
ridiculous it would appear! But it was really so and we feasted on the 
delicate repast, each one no doubt recalling to memory in every plum 
or cherry some happy thought of home, & in every cake some domestic 
recollection. Such was the scene & such the feeling, and we indulged 
in anticipating the pleasures we fancied at no distant period. The 
whistling of the winds thro' the rigging and the wintry appearance of 
the Heavens, gave reason to our anticipations. This however was to be 
the last of our little feasts of this nature. We had two or three before, 
and were indebted to the wife of Mr. DeRussy for them all. She had 
sent him these things by the steam boat to Mackina; and perhaps we 
relished them the more from the double consideration that the fondness 
of the wife and the fidelity of Indian messengers had overcome so 
many difficulties to transport them hither. They were brought by the 
Indian who was charged with our mail from Drummond's. He had been 
greatly exposed to weather during a 10 days' search for us & the cake 
had undergone its share of ablutions in the lake. 

Sunday, September 24. Cold, cloudy, with some rain and a gale of 
wind that increases at night, S.S.W. & at night N. 

Remain on board the Red Jacket during the morning. At dinner 
receive a letter from John D. Jun'r 1 announcing his arrival in N. York. 
It was brought by an Indian from the Confiance, but how it came 
there did not learn. 

In the afternoon Mr. Bird and myself go on shore to look at the 
settlement of Drummond's Island. It consists of perhaps 15 houses 
tolerably comfortable, made of logs and white washed; and of two 

1 John Delafield Jr., older brother of Major Delafield, had just returned from many 
years residence in England. 


stories, upon one straight street. The officers have comfortable quarters 
detached from each other, of similar construction to the citizens'. 
There are two companies, with a Major in command. The right of the 
part of the bay where is the settlement, is occupied by the military, 
and is terminated by a small island that is connected by a bridge. 
Upon this little island (which is mostly covered with pines), is a fanciful 
little hut. It is upon the point of the island and enclosed within white 
pickets. A deep piazza under which you see two Gothic shaped win- 
dows, and a front of green paint, having at a little distance a romantic 
appearance. Upon approach however you perceive that it is an old log 
hut with a bark roof, that has been fixed up in this manner by some 
officer of taste. On the left of the bay are the citizens' dwellings. The 
settlement is here terminated by an inlet that runs two miles into the 
island, which is here about 200 ft. wide. The water has no current. 
The inlet is rather remarkable, resembling in shape a river. Upon the 
point commence the Indian huts and wigwams. There are perhaps 30 
of them along the bank of this inlet. I look'd into many of them. They 
were filthy and generally crowded with squaws and children. The 
squaws were principally engaged in making hampers in which they 
carry potatoes &c. They much resemble the hampers or sacks in which 
sugar is imported, and are made of the rushes dried and flattened. 

The island just here is extremely bare and rocky. The ground is cov- 
ered with lime stone rounded rocks, of all dimensions, too close even to 
plant a potato between them. In small patches that have been cleared 
for gardens, the soil appears rich & strong. Up the inlet there appears 
to be some better land. The fact however that they cannot grow upon 
the whole island sufficient hay to keep the few cows they have, is indic- 
ative of a similar barrenness throughout. They get hay from St. 
Joseph's and it costs them about 15 dollars a ton to stack it upon this 
island. The harbor of Drummond's Island is the best probably upon 
Lake Huron. It is a deep bay, having its mouth well protected by a 
cluster of islands between two of which are good channels. There are 
reefs off these islands, and it is not advisable for strangers to make this 
harbor without a pilot. We did so upon our first arrival with safety, but 
have now learned the dangers we accidentally avoided. 

Monday, September 25. Gold and clear, wind N.N.W., high. 
Messrs. Bird and Stevenson spend the first part of the day measuring a 
Base Line in front of the barracks. Mr. Bird then occupies the several 
stations around him, and in the course of the day occupies with the 
theodolite all his stations within the two points of the harbor, and Mr. 
DeRussy delineates the shores and the islands in the harbor for the 
same distance. In the afternoon accompany Mr. DeRussy and peram- 
bulate the East shore of the harbor from opposite the s^ttl^m^nt to near 


the outer point, a distance of three miles or more including the bays. 
There are several bays within the bay that forms the harbor of Drum- 
mond's, and some of them run half a mile into the island, and have a 
good depth of water and anchorage. The approach to them however is 
not so safe as to the village, on account of rocks and reefs. This shore is 
altogether of rounded masses of lime stone much water worn, the most 
uninteresting walk that I have taken in this lake for its extent. On the 
lake shore however around the point, Mr. Stevenson found a variety 
of interesting minerals that are retained. We all get to the vessel about 
sun set. 

Tuesday, September 26. A gale of wind from the S.S.W. prevents 
any of the party engaging in the work of the survey (from the vessel) 
this day. At noon a schooner heaves in sight off the harbor under close 
reefed mainsail and jib. It was thought she wished to make this port, 
but was prevented on account of the reefs which are considered danger- 
ous in the very heavy sea then running. She runs by and proceeds to 
the Sault, or makes a harbor among the islands North of Drummond's 
or at St. Joseph's. 

I remain on board the Red Jacket throughout the day. 

Wednesday, September 27. The morning cloudy, clears off by 10 
o'clock and remains clear and calm throughout the day and favorable 
for the labors of the survey. Messrs. Bird and Stevenson leave us early 
in the morning in their respective boats, provisioned for an absence of 
several days. 

I go on shore with my gun and ramble back of the village. Find a 
few snipe. The island is very rough and stony. The Indians grow some 
potatoes, and nothing else is cultivated near the village. In the middle 
of the island I am told there is good land, covered with maple and that 
generally the shores for a mile or two upon Lake Huron are stony and 
very barren but that the interior is good tillable land. In the small 
gardens about the Post they raise melons that are ripe at this time. 
Grass, corn, and potatoes are also cut, gathered, dug and taken in at 
this time. The grass is now stacking upon the island. 

In the afternoon I again go on shore and take tea and spend evening 
with Mrs. Solomon, a lady I met in the steam boat, who, knowing I 
was here, sent me invitations to visit her. She is of the Jewish faith and 
a very clever and kind woman. She gives me a plate of Seneca grass 
handsomely braided by an Indian, and a little Indian mat to add to 
my stock of curiosities. Considerable maple sugar is made on Drum- 
mond's Island. The centre of the island is not known to the villagers 
and they have only penetrated but about two leagues to make sugar. 
From a height back of the settlement and parallel with the inlet you 
have a fine view of the harbor. You look over the several points that 


form the bays on the East side of the harbor which have the appearance 
of so many little Lakes. These added to the islands in the harbor afford 
a pretty view which much resembles the view of the Harbor of Boston 
from their State House, but not so distant or prolonged. There are two 
portages across the island both bringing you within a few miles of the 
Indian village, Portaganasing, say 5 and 7, when around it is about 
18 miles. 

Thursday, September 28. Clear and pleasant, temperate and light 
wind, another favorable day for the survey. At noon Mr. Bird comes in 
to the harbor, having finished his work in the neighborhood of the 
Detour and connected that point with Drummond's Island, carrying 
the survey about five miles on the American shore beyond the Detour 
Point West. He set off after dinner to join Mr. Stevenson, who is carry- 
ing the work down the shore of Drummond's Island, East side of the 
harbor, toward the point where it was left, when we sailed for the North 
of the island. 

Mr. DeRussy accompanies him in the skiff to delineate as they survey. 

I dine with Mrs. Solomon. She gives a good dinner for Lake Huron: 
soup, a trout, roast duck, cellary, apples &c, the last from Sandwich. 
No apples grown on this island. There are a few dwarf trees, but none 
yet in bearing. 

It is in the Autumn that the Indians come in to trade their articles 
and receive their presents. In some seasons they collect here 1,500 & 
2,000 strong. Each Indian draws two days' rations besides his presents. 
They are principally Chippewas and Ottowas. Formerly other Nations 
came here from the Mississippi, but they are now taken care of at more 
neighboring Posts. In truth the Americans have brought the Indians 
within our own Territories to trade more generally with us than they 
did a few years back. 

The white fish of Lake Huron begin to appear. The Sault St. Marie 
is the great fishing ground. Fish have not been taken there yet this 
season. The Indians have a mode of taking white fish in the rapids of 
the Sault with what we call a scoop net. They take several at a time. 
The whites have not the skill. The white fish do not take the hook, are 
caught in gill nets and seines. The salmon trout & pike take the hook 
trowling. The Indians take them all with the spear. 

Mrs. Solomon tells me it cost them £ 60 Hab. to carry away the stone 
from their little garden lot. Their garden is about half an acre. Wages 
on Drummond's Island one dollar and a half per day. 

Friday, September 29. Clear and temperate, wind light, S.E. 
Remain on board the Red Jacket until afternoon, when I land on the 
right of the village and traverse the shore to a point opposite the Detour. 
It is all lime stone. Saw nothing of interest, save some Indian graves. A 


pile of logs the length of the corpse was laid over the grave and kept 
there by ranges of stones collected around them. The body was but just 
under the surface. At the head was a stake 5 ft. high, and upon it some 
marks in red paint or ochre that were unintelligible to me. They were 
mostly crosses and cyphers. The smaller graves, as of children had roofs 
of bark over them. 

Shortly after my return, our old Indian messenger, who bro't the 
mail comes alongside in his canoe with a fine mess offish, white fish and 
trout. He sold us a large white fish that weighed after it was cleaned 7 
lb. 11 oz. (it would weigh 10 lbs. before cleaning) for 25 cents. This 
was the largest white fish that I have seen or heard of. He gave us some 
handsome salmon trout, the whole lot weighing after it was cleaned 
23 lbs., for 75 cts. and was well pleased with his bargain. The Indians 
always clean the fish as they take them, or rather their squaws do it. 
By cleaning they mean taking out the entrails, the scales are left on. 

Saturday, September 30. Clear and temperate, light wind, S.E. 
Nearly summer heat. 

The Indians bring plenty offish in the morning as they return from 
the lake. They go out in the afternoon, and fish along the shores of the 
island during the night, bringing in their fish in the morning. Salmon 
trout are the most numerous: white fish decidedly the most delicate 
and choice. 

A bark canoe comes in, good style, with a Canadian crew and full 
chorus, bringing a traveller. I send to learn the news, and our boat 
returns with our mails from below via Mackina, a most welcome return 
from Mackina, for which we are indebted to Mr. Prior who brought 
them, and Mr. Crooks who forwarded them. Among them was a paper 
dated 12th September. It was in Mackina on the 28th, so that from 
Albany to Mackina it was 16 days. 

In the evening our three boats return to the vessel, from their respec- 
tive destinations thro' the past weeks. The gentlemen describe the shore 
of Drummond's below the harbor as indented with deep bays, some of 
them containing several islands. They describe one good harbor, but 
the entrance to it is rather narrow. The bottoms of these bays are 
generally mud, and clams are numerous in the beds of some of them. 
Fish are taken there more plentifully than at the Post. 

Sunday, October 1 . Clear and temperate, wind S.E. All of the party 
on board. Mr. Bird observes for latitude & makes the Post of Drum- 
mond's Island to be in 45°58 / . 

In the afternoon ramble to the rear of the village and bring away 
some favosite, sometimes called petrified wasps nests, and several very 
good reteporites (chain coral). This species of madreporite was so 
labelled by LeSeur according to Eaton. My specimens are good, having 


the walls of the cells raised half an inch from the stone. These are the 
only specimens found at this part of Drummond's Island of interest. I 
should have added also the arbo-madreporite, of which I have some 
good specimens: so delicate however from their branches that I despair 
of transporting them safely. 

Some of the gentlemen of the garrison have found upon this island 
conservations of the back bones of very large fish handsomely defined. 
Are said to resemble the shark's bones in size and joints &c. These 
several specimens are found on the upland, and usually at an elevation 
of 30 ft. from the lake. They prove to be new species of madrepores for 
descriptions of which see paper by Dr. Bigsby in London Geo. Soc. 

Monday, October 2. Clear and temperate, wind light, S.E. Mr. 
DeRussy and Mr. Best go to the shore East of the harbor to delineate 
and traverse between the several stations occupied there, as far down 
as to the place where the work was left, when we conducted it around 
the other side of the island. This section of survey is now completed 
except the above delineation, and we wait their return only to sail for 
St. Clair. The crew on board have been employed this day resetting 
rigging and making preparations about the vessel for our voyage over 
the lakes. 

Mr. Stevenson and myself take a walk back of the settlement and 
bring away some more good specimens of reteporite, &c, i.e. corallium 
catenulatum et reticulatum of same (chain coral). 

Tuesday, October 3. Clear and pleasant. Remain on board the 
vessel. Make some preparations for sailing from Lake Huron. Put up a 
box of minerals containing about one hundred and fifty specimens. 

In the evening go on shore to take leave of Mrs. Solomon, my only 
acquaintance on Drummond's Island. Take tea with her, and return to 
the vessel. 

In the afternoon Messrs. DeRussy and Best return from their delinea- 
tion and traverse below the harbor, having finished the labors of this 
station altogether. 

We give Captain Gillett notice of our readiness to sail from this lake. 
He has the vessel fitted in all things, and we only wait a wind to turn 
our backs upon the inhospitable harbor of Drummond's Island; and 
the cold waters of Lake Huron. The Comdg. Officer of the Garrison, 
Majr. Winnet, was absent during my visit at this time. 


The schooner Confiance and a crew of 15 persons inclusive of Master and 
one boy, is a public vessel and King's Seamen. Is commanded by Mr. Grant, 
Lieut, in H.R.M. Navy. 

Mr. Grant has instructions from the Navy Dept. of the Provinces, which are 


private. Among other things he is engaged extensively in taking soundings. 
His crew are exclusively employed in charge of the Confiance and not subject 
to the orders of the party on survey. 


October 4, 1820 to October 2g, 1820 

Wednesday, October 4, 1820. Clear and temperate, Thermo, at 
12 o'clock 6i°, wind S.E. 

We get under way with the schooner Red Jacket, from Drummond's 
Island harbor at 10 a.m. The whole party on board; having completed 
the survey of this section of Lake Huron. 

Beat about with a head wind until midnight, when it changes to 
W.N.W., and we run on our course at a good rate. The fore part of the 
night thunder and lightning without rain or wind. A heavy sea, several 
seasick. Two alarms on deck, the one when the change of wind struck 
us, in the shape of a squall, and the other when our boat in tow was 
thrown against the stern of the schooner by a heavy swell, made the 
night bustling and uncomfortable. Want of confidence in the Master 
made it necessary for us to keep a good look out, & Mr. Stevenson being 
something of a sailor, proved very useful on more than one occasion. 

Thursday, October 5. Pursue our voyage with a strong fair wind 
from the W.N.W., laying our course for the St. Clair. At day light found 
ourselves nearly abreast of Middle Island. In the afternoon the wind 
dies away, and we lay off Sagina Bay tossed by a heavy sea, most un- 
mannerly, without more than sufficient wind to give the vessel steering 
way. Look forward to another night with the gloomy prospect of a head 
wind, and a sickening swell of the lake. Before we turn in however a 
strong fair wind comes from the W.N.W. and instead of retiring with 
gloom, we anticipate the sight of the St. Clair at day break. 

Friday, October 6. Clear, fresh wind, W.N.W. At day break dis- 
cover the American shore on our starboard bow and only know that 
we had run across Sagina Bay in the night and pass'd it some distance, 
Sagina Bay or Point aux Barques being out of sight. Run down the 
shore at the rate of 7 or 8 miles, and enter the St. Clair at 2 o'clock p.m., 
having made our passage from Drummond's Island in 52 hours. The 
Comdg. Officer of Fort Gratiot (Mr. Webb) boards us off the fort. He 
informs us that the Confiance had pass'd down the river the same morn- 
ing and was bound direct for Black Rock. The Confiance grounded 
opposite the fort. 

We come to anchor a mile below the fort. Soon discover a sail com- 


ing down the lake and prepare a letter to Genl. Porter 1 and another for 
home and put them on board the vessel. She proves to be the Jackson, 
from Mackana for Detroit. Visit Fort Gratiot with Lieut. Webb. The 
fort is square with four bastions and commands the pass, which is not 
to exceed 800 ft. at the entrance. There is at present a detachment of 
22 men only at Fort Gratiot, and a belief exists that the Post will be 
reduced. It is a solitary Post for a command and I see no good purpose 
for maintaining this Post. 

Saturday, October 7. Get under way from Fort Gratiot after sun 
rise and beat down the river, intending to come to at a place called The 
Settlement, twenty two miles from the fort. Lieut. Webb accompanies 
us. The River du Loup comes into the St. Clair one mile below the fort. 
It is said to rise a hundred miles back. There is a mill seat twenty miles 
up the river, improved, the only one in the neighborhood. We are 
again delighted with the beauties of this river. Its low banks, good soil 
and good timber, width, current and windings, all contribute to its 
superiority over most others, for many advantages besides beauty. 
Come to at the settlement at one o'clock, and send on shore a tent 
where it is intended to write up the notes and prepare the section maps 
of the survey above, before we return. 

The settlers here are mostly Americans. Their clearings are confined 
to the shores of the river, nor is the interior of the country known to 
them. There are about a dozen houses. We get very fine butter, good 
chickens and common vegetables and think ourselves feasting upon 
luxuries. So long had we been deprived of these things, that the change 
of diet seemed like a new era in our expedition. 

Sunday, October 8. Cloudy, wind Easterly. After breakfast, cross 
over to the Canada shore. Opposite the settlement is an Indian estab- 
lishment of half a dozen wigwams, of the Chippewa's. They have 
several acres of land cleared and cultivated. Corn is their principal 
crop. These Indians are more comfortably settled than most. They 
seem to have plenty to eat, and about their cabins were good imple- 
ments of husbandry, and pots & kettles, that denoted some approach 
toward civilization. The land on this (the Canada shore) is very good, 
soil black loam, and no stone to be found. 

On the shore found some madreporites that I thought worth retain- 
ing. This is a good hunting country. An Indian bro't in this morning a 
fine black bear, and a black fox. Deer are numerous. The river is well 
supplied with fish. The salmon trout and whitefish have not yet 
appeared, but the herrings now taken on the St. Clair are delicious 

1 These letters do not appear in the Porter or in the Delafield collection in the 
National Archives. 


fish, and, next to the whitefish, I prefer them to any I have eaten on 
these waters. 

There are three rivers that empty into the St. Clair on the American 
side. The River du Loup, or Black River, the St. Clair Creek or River, 
and the Belle Riviere. The River du Loup, called by some the Black, 
comes into the St. Clair one mile below Fort Gratiot. A hunter now in 
the fort says he has ascended this river 60 miles, thinks he can ascend 
it one hundred, and is now about to set off on a hunt of that distance. 
There is 6 ft. water at its mouth and it is about 200 ft. wide. The St. 
Clair Creek is 12 miles below the fort, and is navigable for batteaux 9 
miles up. Beyond that could get no information. The same may be said 
of the Belle Riviere, which is 22 miles below the fort. 

Monday, October 9. Messrs. Bird and Stevenson busily employed 

Walk down the shore among the settlers. Meet an old man by the 
name of Thorn. He has been on this river 36 years. Previous to his 
residence here he was a navigator upon the lakes in 1 767. At that time, 
he states, there was one vessel upon Lake Erie, and one upon Lake 
Huron, and no others. That there was none upon Lake Superior but 
that he had seen the wreck of a vessel there, said to have been built by 
the French. That these vessels were employed exclusively transporting 
King's provisions. That the speculators in furs at that time got furs 
from the Indians, and took them away in batteaux. 

Mr. Thorn states that the settlers upon this river were never un- 
healthy until the last and present season. The diseases are remittent 
fevers and agues and fevers. He ascribes the sickness much to the poor 
living of the settlers; and thinks more meat is eaten in his family than 
in any six taken together on the river. I think it more probable that the 
foul water they drink has some agency in it. The shores are mixed with 
sand and blue clay, and whenever the water is disturbed, it becomes 
very muddy. They have logs projecting twenty ft. into the river, but do 
not take care to reach the clear water. This cause however is not more 
satisfactory than Mr. Thorn's; and both of them are irreconcilable with 
his statement, that sickness has prevailed the two past summers only. 

One of the men shoots a bird that upon examination proves unknown 
to us all. It is of the duck kind, beautifully feathered, with remarkable 
feet, not webbed like the duck. Skin the bird and lay it by to dry, in- 
tending to take it home for our naturalists. In the evening board the 
schooner Decatur, bound to Mackina. Get a Washington paper of 1 6th 

Tuesday, October 10. Storm of wind and rain, wind N.E. Ther. 
at noon 52 . 

On waking this morning, the preparation or skin of my beautiful 


bird, that I had carefully placed by, was brought to me defaced and 
torn by rats and mice. This trifling occurrence as it would seem to 
some, made my waking rather sad, which added to the storm that 
delays our work, and necessarily detains us one day longer removed 
from all society, and I might add nearly all comfort, gives to the dawn- 
ing of the day rather a heavy aspect. The whole party remains on board 
the vessel throughout the day. With talk, books, pens & paper, we con- 
trive to pass the day and, notwithstanding my early croaking and fore- 
boding, pass it on my part pleasantly enough wanting little and having 
but little to want. 

Wednesday, October 1 1 . Cloudy, high wind with squalls through- 
out day. Temp, at noon 53 . Remain on board the Red Jacket. All 
the gentlemen engaged plotting and mapping. 

Mr. Webb, Lieutenant, takes his leave for his command at Fort 
Gratiot. The schooners Decatur and Huron that were wind bound 
yesterday in sight proceed up the river. 

The St. Clair River is this day very thick and muddy. So foul as to 
be unpleasant to drink, owing principally in my opinion to the dis- 
turbed dirt brought down the three rivers that empty into the St. Clair 
above this, during the heavy storm of rain and wind of yesterday, and 
in part to the rise of waters, the shores washing away the clay and loose 

Thursday, October 12. The party engaged as yesterday. In the 
morning a schooner heaves in sight bound down. Board her. She proves 
to be the Beaver of Presque Isle, Capt. White. Had encountered stormy 
weather upon Lake Huron, and upon Lake Michigan had been in a 
bad storm, that caused them to throw overboard their deck load of 
whisky and salt. Lost an anchor and had been to Green Bay and back 
without one. Was also in want of provisions. Offered a supply and the 
Capt. brought the Beaver alongside the Red Jacket and made fast. 
Capt. W T hite, and his sister who accompanied, remained to dine. Sup- 
plied them with pork, bread and whisky, and in the afternoon they 
proceed on their voyage. Write to Gen'l Porter by the Beaver. Write by 
same vessel to the Secretary of State 1 informing him of the survey 
effected upon Lake Huron and of our departure, also of our intended 
return to Black Rock in a few days, and of our being at present em- 
ployed upon the St. Clair, &c, &c. Direct this letter to be mailed at 

Friday, October 13. The party engaged as yesterday. Set out on a 
hunting expedition on the American shore. Range the woods some dis- 
tance back without success. The land is flat, soil black loam on clay. 

1 These letters do not appear in Porter's Mss. in the National Archives. 


No stone — wood, oak, white and red — hickory, elm, ash, white and 
black, soft maple. Finding no game return to the shore and go to the 
Belle Riviere & ascend it about a mile. The river is about one hundred 
ft. wide & muddy. There is a French settlement on its south shore of 
eight or ten families. Their huts are more neat and comfortable and as 
farmers they seemed more provident and better off than those on the 
St. Clair. Was much pleased with the cleanliness, politeness and indus- 
try of the settlers. I visited every house I pass'd, and found them uni- 
formly clean & comfortable and the women engaged in various ways 
of domestic industry. The men were out on their farms. The French 
settlers here are complained of as idle and without enterprise. My own 
experience however satisfied me that they are not idle; and that altho 
their views are confined and not so speculative as the American and 
English settlers they are such as to make them and their families more 
comfortable & happy. They perhaps do not labor to pursue their gains 
much beyond their present necessities, but they are more intent upon 
doing this much than the other settlers. There is among them more of 
pleasure and less of gain, more of content but less of information, more 
of uniformity of livelihood and less of enterprise. Unfortunately in each 
house I found some person sick, and generally a female. The clearings 
extend about 4 miles up the Belle River as they told me. They do not 
clear further back than J^ of a mile. The water of the river was so foul 
that it would alone generate disease. Some of the French girls were 
spinning wool, an unusual occupation in this part of the country. 
Many of the people were dining upon raccoons, that are numerous here 
and good eating when fat. 

Saturday, October 14. Remain on board the Red Jacket through- 
out day. The party engaged with the maps as yesterday. Conclude to 
sail from the St. Clair tomorrow. Make all necessary arrangements 
thro the steward &c. and in the evening Mr. Bird gets his tent on board 
that he had used for the working of the maps, and we are in readiness 
to sail for home. 

Sunday, October 15. At sun rise clear, calm and cold. Sometime 
after sun rise saw ice on the decks, the first that I had seen this season; 
altho no doubt there had been much in quiet places. The woods shew 
their Autumnal tints everywhere. 

We get under way and cross the flats of the St. Clair (the mouth of 
the river) about two o'clock; grounded for a short time; the channel is 
very narrow say 150 to 200 ft. at the outlet that is now used. The old 
ship channel which is the middle channel is no longer navigable for 
schooners. At the mouth of the river saw flocks of very large white 
swans. They are numerous at this end of St. Clair. The place is suited 
to them because of the shallow waters. There is a small stream empties 


in here called by the French the Cigne Riviere. The wind rises in the 
afternoon and we run thro' St. Clair Lake at a good rate. 

Enter the Detroit River at dusk and come to anchor off Detroit, 
about 9 o'clock p.m. Remain on board the vessel. 

Monday, October 16. Clear, Tempe. at noon, 55 . Send on shore 
all the tents and Marquee, most of the camp equipage and other articles 
not now wanted. The tents are stored in the public store for military 
equipage and the other articles in the Commissary's store and are 
received there by the politeness of the officers. Make a variety of minor 
arrangements. Call on Gen'l McComb & family, Gov. Cass & family, 
Mr. & Mrs. Jones, Major & Mrs. Biddle, Mrs. Bellew and the gentlemen 
of the garrison. Have some difficulty in declining the hospitalities of 
these friendly people, but feel under the necessity of so doing and at 
three o'clock p.m. get under way from Detroit. The wind being very- 
light, and in the evening calm, come to opposite Grosse Isle for the night. 

Tuesday, October 1 7. Get under way in the Red Jacket from near 
head of Grosse Isle about 7 o'clock. The morning being foggy and calm, 
prevented an earlier departure. Having a skiff belonging to the British 
party and a Marquee and theodolite in possession of Mr. Stevenson 
that were to be left at Amherstburgh Maiden, Messrs. Bird, Stevenson 
and myself set off in the Lady of the Lakes towing the skiff and row 
there before the arrival of the Red Jacket. Deposit the before named 
articles in the public or King's store. 

Stop'd in some of the shops and purchased a curious Indian pipe 
made of a buck's horn, with stem fancifully carved and colored; also 
a beaver's skin and otter's skin both well dressed and perfect, so that 
they might be set up, for which three articles I paid six dollars. The 
rage for Indian curiosities amongst the strangers that visit the upper 
country causes them to be held by the shop keepers at a high price. 
This late steam boat party consisting in part of the officers that com- 
posed the Court Martial for the trial of Col. Smith had bought them up, 
as I was told in the shops. Return to the vessel. Below Maiden Col. 
Hawkins of the 70th comes off in his little bark canoe to see us. It is due 
to this gentleman to note his uniform friendly politeness wherever we 
have met. 

Enter Lake Erie with a head wind and remain beating about between 
Miami Bay and Canada shore until dark. 

Wednesday, October 18. At day break find ourselves about eight 
miles from Put-in-Bay, having passed a very uncomfortable night from 
a heavy head wind and sea and the vessel making bad work at beating. 

At sun rise Messrs Bird, Stevenson, DeRussy and myself set off in The 
Lady to go in search of a locality of strontian on the main shore, that 
Mr. DeRussy had discovered the last season, and from which were ob- 


tained some beautiful chrystals. The vessel was becalmed so that we 
were enabled to leave her. Land on the main shore opposite Moss 
Island, and find a place corresponding with Mr. DeRussy's description 
of the locality, but after a diligent search are obliged to leave there 
without discovering the strontian, much to the disappointment of us all. 
On our return however we land on the side of Moss Island and discover 
a vast mine of this rare & beautiful mineral. It is scattered in almost all 
the rocks on this side of the island, but about the centre where the rock 
is about 30 ft. high, and half-way up the rock, is a solid stratum of 
strontian in chrystals, which stratum is three feet thick. Its depth we 
could form no estimate of, but the vein seemed to be parallel with 
superincumbent (i.e. horizontal) rocks. In working a little in this mine 
you come to cavities, and these cavities are filled with splendid chrystals 
all of them translucent & some of them beautifully transparent and 
iridescent. They were of no uniform shape or size. The chrystals would 
weigh from half a pound to four pounds, and we found broken pieces of 
chrystals that must have weighed entire much more. My largest chrystal 
is six inches long and three and a half wide. Some are in tables and some 
in prisms, but their variety too great to attempt a description hastily. 
The strontian is massive, in groupes of chrystals, in detached chrystals 
and fibrous. Is white blue and now and then tinged with green, and 
sometimes a little yellow appears upon the white that is transparent. 
We brought away several large masses of the great vein, where it runs 
into the fibrous variety. One of these masses weighed about 70 weight, 
and with proper tools there would have been no difficulty in obtaining 
a ton weight in one mass. These large masses however were not suffi- 
ciently compact to support their great weight. My specimens will show 
every variety and size of this interesting mineral. The discovery of this 
mine of strontian amply compensated for our day's labor and our 
previous disappointment. We returned to the vessel with a heavy load, 
and found her at anchor amongst the Bass Islands in a calm. Altho' we 
had made so fortunate a discovery and enriched ourselves with good 
specimens, upon reflection I felt chagrined that opportunity had not 
offered for more minute research. It was upon our return to the vessel 
in the afternoon, after a fruitless search throughout the morning on the 
main shore, for the lost mine, that we touch'd at Moss Island. We 
landed upon the spot where huge chrystals and huge masses of strontian 
hung over us in all directions. Our first sight was sufficient, and some 
time was spent, before the best was discovered, and in truth so little 
time was left us, that of the best we can say nothing. There are still 
cavities filled with beautiful chrystals of unknown dimensions that we 
only know are there. Of what we brought away and saw immediately 
around us, we can alone speak. There still remain virgin charms for 


the mineralogist at Moss Island, and my own appetite is only increased 
for another gust the next time I may cross Lake Erie. On our arrival 
at the vessel we took the small boats on board, and lay in readiness to 
improve the first wind that offered for Black Rock. 

Thursday, October 19. Get under way from the Bass Islands with 
a strong, fair wind at day break, that continues to increase throughout 
the day. Run on our course at the rate of ten miles an hour. 

At sun set shorten sail, and during the night run under a double 
reefed foresail only to avoid over running our port. The atmosphere 
rather hazy. 

Friday, October 20. At day break find ourselves near the foot of the 
lake. Wind still a gale. Set all sail and come to off Black Rock at 8 
o'clock a.m., having run from Put-in-Bay in twenty-nine hours. Mrs. 
Porter kindly invites me to make her house my home which I do. 

Saturday, October 21. Spend the day principally in packing up 
minerals and my baggage. Prepare 4 boxes of minerals and 1 box of 
Indian curiosities, and in the evening deliver them to a waggoner by 
the name of Smith, directed to the care of Trotter and Douglass, Albany. 

Give to Gen'l Porter a barrel of minerals consisting of my extra collec- 
tion, with some that were too large and heavy for transportation. 

Sunday, October 22. Remain with General Porter at Black Rock. 
Explain to him the geography of the North end of Lake Huron; our 
claim to Drummond's Island; the surveys we had effected, and the 
surveys remaining to be effected. He agrees with me that there was no 
necessity for much more work upon Lake Huron. The next season it is 
contemplated to survey Lake St. Clair and River. Add to this perhaps 
some further information to be had of Lake Huron, that should not 
consume much time, and a little work left unfinished by Mr. Thompson 
on Lake Erie, that he contemplates finishing this Winter, and the sur- 
veys under the Sixth Article will be done, extending from parallel of 
N. Latitude 45 on the Saint Lawrence to the water communication 
between Lakes Huron and Superior. 

General Porter thought that their surveys might be finished by the 
middle of the next Summer, and that the Board might proceed there- 
after to decide upon the Line thro' that extent. He explains to me his 
views concerning Bois Blanc Island in the Detroit. This island is of con- 
siderable interest as it regards the navigation of the Detroit River. He 
also confides to me the preliminaries that had been agreed upon be- 
tween Mr. Ogilvy and himself to reg-ulate such decisions. General 
Porter submits these matters for investigation and reflection. 

He intimates a wish that I repair to Washington in the course of the 
Winter, and take with me the accounts of the commission, which I 


consent to do — I address a letter to the General, 1 upon the subject of 
the late Agent's accounts for the purpose of reducing the same to a cor- 
respondence, which letter he promises to answer soon. 

In the afternoon I take leave of my friends at Black Rock, and Gen- 
eral Porter and myself ride to Buffalo, where we take seats in the stage 
for the East, and lodge preparatory to an early ride in the morning. 
Mr. Stevenson this day visited a stone quarry eight miles from Black 
Rock on the main road East, belonging to Judge or Squire Hopkins, 
from whence he brought some splendid organic remains more particu- 
larly beautiful and rare madreporites entirely raised from the blocks 
of stone. Regret the want of opportunity to visit this spot, but note the 
same for future recollections. 

Monday, October 23. Leave Buffalo at 4 o'clock in the morning 
and lodge at Avon, Gennessee River. 

Tuesday, October 24. Leave Gennessee River at 4 o'clock in the 
morning & lodge at Skeneateles. 

Wednesday, October 25. Leave Skeneateles at 4 o'clock in the 
morning and lodge in Utica. Snow throughout day and night. 

Find the Supreme Court sitting in Utica. They hold a term here for 
the first time. This arrangement was thought to be just inasmuch as 
the great and growing Western District had an equal claim to the 
Southern and Middle District to such an accommodation. Find the bar 
generally displeased with the plan and understood the bench to be 
still more so. The difference of opinion it is probable will bring about 
the plan of holding all their terms at one convenient place, say Albany. 
Have much difficulty in procuring a bed, the town being filled with 
lawyers and clients. Throw myself upon the mercy of my old friend, 
Mrs. Baggs, who procures a bed for me in a neighbor's house. 

Thursday, October 26. Leave Utica at 3 o'clock in the morning 
and lodge in Albany. Reach there by 7 p.m. Stop at Bamman's. His 
house as well kept and furnished as any hotel in the City of New York. 
Learn on arrival that the steam boat Paragon had just sunk, a few miles 
below Albany, by running upon a sunken log. Passengers and baggage 
safe. Am prevented by this accident continuing my journey with the 
same rapidity that I had proceeded thus far — 

Friday, October 27. Proceed from Albany to Troy to visit my friend 
Cushman, and wait the arrival of another steam boat. 

Saturday, October 28. Learn that the steam boat Chancellor 

1 This letter does not appear under date Oct. 22, 1820, in either the Porter or the 
Delafield Mss. in the National Archives. But in the Porter collection a list dated 
Dec. 2, 1820, appears, with full accounts from Nov. 1, 181 7 to Nov. 10, 1820. This 
gives the names of the workers under Art. VI, and their salaries. 


Livingston will sail from Albany this afternoon at 4 o'clock. Visit the 
Troy Lyceum with Doctor Wells. Present him a piece of strontian from 
Strontian Island, Lake Erie. He very liberally presents me with several 
minerals that I had not. 

Leave Troy at 2 o'clock and proceed to the steam boat. We leave 
Albany at 5 p.m. and arrive in New York on the following morning at 
Y2 P a st 9 o'clock. 

Wm. Mulligan Esqr. of New York has in his possession an old map 
of N. America published Feby. 13, 1755 by Mitchell, and by direction 
of the Lord's Comr's for trade and plantations. The map has numerous 
inscriptions explaining dates of settlements, observations on latitude, 
&c. The following are extracts. 

"By a gross estimate of Gist, Pickawillany, Hockhoken and Lake Erie, should 
be 30 or 40 minutes of latitude South, than Charlevoix account of the entrance 
of Detroit / being in latitude 42°i2 / or 15' seems to make it. So Niagara is sup- 
posed to be in Lat. 43 , which would make Lake Erie too nigh the Ohio, 
according to our accounts of the distance between them, which however appear 

Sandoski is eighty miles from the River Miami by accounts of those that 
have gone it, & others make that an Civahago further west." -(old map). 

"The first settlement of the English on the River Ohio, was at and about 
Alleghany 30 years ago (1725), since which they have extended their settle- 
ments from Shenango to Pickawillany (1755). Lat. of Oswego by L. Evans 

on old map is 42.1 7. Same map gives observations of lat. for Oswego. . 

43°-5°j 22.17 & 2 min.; Montreal Lat. 45°.20.3o & 40 mm.; Niagara 43 & 44." 

Expenses from New York to New London, Norwich & Brooklyn. 

Passage from New York to New London $4.00 

Porter at New London 13 

Geo. Shepard for expenses at Norwich 

Plainfield and Brooklyn as per bill 8.56 

A. Shepard at New London do do 8.75 

Ferriage across Connecticut river 13 

Stage fare from Saybrook to New Haven 2.50 

Petty expenses on road from N London to Sayb' 19 

Supper at New Haven and one Lodging 75 

Stage from N Haven to N York 5. - 

Supper at & dinner at Stamford 1 . 

Porter at New York 25 


22 Supper & lodg Buffalo 75 

Octr 23. Stage fare from Buffalo to Canandaigua 2.50 

" Change for baggage 25 




Supper & lodg Avon 

24 Breakfast Bloomfield 

" Stage fare Canandaigua to Auburn 

" Auburn to Utica 

" Dinner & supper 

25 Stage fare Utica to Schenectady 4.50 

" Schenectady to Albany 81 

Expense at Albany 3.50 

Stm Boat to NYork 6. 

Baggage in NYork 40 

Pd for extra baggage Buffalo 2.25 

" at Canandaiga 1 . " 

" at Auburn 1 .62 

" at Utica 1 .50 

" at Schenectady 31 

To be charged to 
Theodolite - 

J. D. with Boundary Comr. on acct disbursements 

Octr 7. To wages pd Swan 52.00 Octr. 7 By cash rec'd of 

" " To wages pd Grant 52.00 T. Clinton 99. " 

" " To pd Swan for ex- " " By cash retained 

pense in search from Grants wages 

of Black Jack 25 for Major Fraser ... 3.75 

" To do pd Grant do do 
" 16 Pd Fred. Cooper his wages 75 
;< 16 Cash pd Mr Bird 10 

Cash advanced Litde .... 2 

" Ned Welsh 1 

To Mr Birds order on Jan. 1 7 

Cash pd Dr Delavan 15 

Capt Gilletts order on Setded. 

Jan 24.66 

25 " By cash retained 
of Grants wages 
due Majr. Fraser. . . 7.75 
" 16 deducted from Coop- 
ers wages as ad- 
vanced him by Majr. 
Fraser 5.50 

Mem 5 dlls Acct DeRussy at Machina, Que: Whether paid me 
by Fraser? 

Sepr. 1 8th Pd Indian for bringing Mail to Portagananig &c $6. " 

Mem Col H. accts. 

Octr 4th due from Mr Bird on settlement of all accounts 2.29 

Octr 4 due from Mr DeRussy on settlement of card acct 65 

Octr 4th due from Mr Stevenson 49 


Octr 4th due from Capt Gillett on settlement of all accounts 11.07 

Octr 4th due to Majr Fraser on settlement of card acct 6.92 

Octr 3 from Capt Gillett 53 

Octr 5 from Mr Bird 58 

" " from Capt Gillett 1.38 

" " from Mr Stevenson 6 

Octr 6. from DeRussy 1 . " 

" " from Capt Gillett 1. 12 

Octr 7. Pd Charles Hill for Capt Gillett 2. " 

Octr 7 from Capt Gillett 4.68 

" " from Mr Stevenson 3500 1 .40 

Octr 9 from Capt Gillett 30 

" " to Mr Stevenson 1 .42 

Octr 10 from Capt Gillett 71,2 et 1.42 

Octr 1 3 to Mr Bird 46 

" " to Capt Gillett 50 

Octr 14 to Capt Gillett 1.18 

" " to Mr Stevenson 20 

" " from Mr Bird 28 

Octr 1 3 to Capt Gillett 1 .20 

" " from Mr Bird 24 

Capt Gillett to accts advanced Charles Hill Octr 16 5. 

Mr Bird to Portage and his share Indian dispatch 3.35 

Mr DeRussy his share to Indian dispatch and Portage J-57K 

Ferguson to Portage 75 


April 21, 1821 to July g, 1821 

Saturday, April 21st, 1821. Left New York in the steam boat 
Chancellor Livingston on my tour to Black Rock to meet the Board of 
Commissioners. Agreeably to engagement join Count d'Aspremont in 
Albany who travels with me to Niagara. We visit our friends in Troy on 
Sunday, leave them on Monday, return to Albany and proceed to 
Schenectady. Spend the evening with Mr. Hudson, and Tuesday, 24th 
morning we proceed on our journey. Stop at the Little Falls of the 
Mohawk to shew Mr. d'Aspremont the canal operations there, and on 
Wednesday arrive in Utica. Thursday night lodge at Auburn, Friday 
night at Canandaigua, Saturday night at Batavia and Sunday night in 
Buffalo. Found the lake filled with ice, & to an extent unknown & 
passing off thro the Niagara Straits but slowly. 

Visit the Falls to accompany Mr. d'Aspremont going down on Tues- 
day the 1st May and return to Black Rock on Saturday the 5th May 
and take up my lodgings at Higgins'. Cross'd and recross'd under the 
Falls from Whitney's to Forsyth's, altho much ice was running. It 
breaks into small pieces before it reaches the chasm, so that it can be 
displaced by a boat in its passage across. 

Saturday, May 5th. Mr. Barclay, H.B.M. Commissioner, arrives at 
Buffalo. Sunday at Black Rock. 

Monday, May 7. Col. Hale, Agent of H.B.M. and Doctr. Bigsby, 
Ass't Sec'y to the Board arrive, and the Board meets pursuant to ad- 
journment. For the proceedings of the Board which occupied us until 
Friday the 10th, see Journal of Proceedings. 1 

1 Turning to the Journal as this modest entry suggests, we find this entry under 
May 7, 1821, p. 42: 

"Joseph Delafield, Esquire, presented to the Board a Commission from the President 
of the United States appointing him Agent on the part of the American Government 
to perform the duties appertaining thereto, under the 6th and 7th articles of the Treaty 
of Ghent, which Commission was ordered to be entered on the Journal and is in the 
words following: ' James Monroe, President of the United States of America. To 
all who shall see these presents, greeting — Know Ye, that reposing special trust and 
confidence in the integrity and abilities of Joseph Delafield of New York, I have 
nominated and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, do appoint him 


Thursday, May ioth. Col. Hale and Dr. Bigsby leave Black Rock 
and cross the river & Mr. Barclay proceeds to Buffalo on his return to 
N. York. 

Friday, May 1 1 th. Mr. Barclay leaves Buffalo on his return. Remain 
at Black Rock. 

Saturday, May 12th. Engaged the following men as boatmen at 
the following wages per month: 

Ned Welch 15 

Fred'k Cooper 15 

Isaac Fancher 13 

Joshua Patch 13 

Alexr. Stannard 1 o 1 

Russel, Andrew B 13 

Dennis Congden 13 

Joseph Warner 13 

David Lakeman 13 

Sunday, May 13. Leave Black Rock for Detroit in the steam boat 
Walk in the Water, with Mr. Bird and Mr. Ferguson and nine men of 
my own party, and Doctor Bigsby of the British party. Touch at Erie 
in the night. 

Monday, May 14. Continue on our route. Touch at the mouth of 
Grand River, and in the night at Cleaveland. 

Tuesday, May 15. Proceed on our voyage. Arrive at Sandusky 
about 7 a.m. Doctr. Bigsby and self leave the Walk in the Water off 
Sandusky in our boat (the Lady of the Lakes) to visit Strontian Island, 
whilst she stops at Sandusky. Scarcely arrive at Strontian Island after 
a rough sail, when the steam boat heaving in sight makes it necessary 
for us to depart. Pass Amherstburgh about sun set, where we land 
Doctor Bigsby. Arrive at Detroit at 1 1 p.m. 

Wednesday, May 16. Make the necessary arrangements to proceed 
from Detroit. Hire a batteau, and load her with our stores and camp 
equipage, and dispatch her ahead under the charge of Clinton with six 
of the men. Mr. Bird finds Mr. Thompson at Moy, opposite Detroit, 

Agent on the part of the United States as authorized by the Treaty of Ghent, for 
managing the business under the sixth and seventh articles of the said treaty, . . . and 
do authorize and empower him to execute and fulfil the dutes of that office, with 
all the powers, privileges, and emoluments to the same of right appertaining to him 
the said Joseph Delafield, during the pleasure of the President of the United States 
for the time being. . . . The third day of March, A.D. 1821. . . .James Monroe. 

John Quincy Adams.' " 
He had been, on May 19, 1820, directed to attend the Commission (Journal of June 
24, 1822, p. 43. 

1 "Stannard to be paid Si 2 per mo. if we are well-satisfied with him." 


but is prevented closing his arrangements with him for the Summer 
survey, so far as it relates to the manner and the division of the labor, 
by reason of Mr. Thompson not having yet received his letters from the 
British Comr. but engages to Mr. Bird on the following morning to 
settle these matters. 

Hire James Hargrove, boatman, wages to commence this day at 13 
dlls. per mo. 

Thursday, May 1 7. Leave Detroit after breakfast with Messrs. Bird 
& Ferguson & 4 hands in the Lady of the Lakes. Cross to the Canada 
shore, where Messrs. Bird & Thompson have an interview, and arrange 
the subjects of survey submitted to them. Proceed up the Detroit River 
and overtake our batteau near the Wind Mill Point, order her to pro- 
ceed and about 5 p.m. we arrive at the position we intend to for our 
camp; situate about 7 miles from Wind Mill Point on the American 
shore of Lake St. Clair. Have great difficulty in approaching the shore, 
it being so very flat & shallow. Have to employ a cart, to go off to the 
batteau about 200 yds. from the shore. W r ork 'til dark in pitching tents 
and fitting our canvass tenements for our lodgings. Get tolerably well 
established by 9 p.m. when we take our tea and biscuit & are willing to 
turn in upon our blankets. Our first day & night in camp would have 
been sickening to persons less used to it. A storm of wind and rain, cold 
& dreary, wet blankets, and but few comforts formed a strong contrast 
to my winter life. The camp however has its charms, and my happiness 
was, perhaps, with my wet blanket, canvass roof, iron spoon &c, equal 
to that of the W 7 inter, in my silk stockings upon drawing room carpets. 

Pitch our tents in a pretty little orchard by the side of Ladoceur's 
house. The owner is absent when we take possession and his wife dares 
not sanction the measure in his absence. On his return however he 
seems well pleased to have us such near neighbors and offers his services 
in every way. 

Friday, May 18. By noon our camp is in perfect order, and arrange- 
ments are made for business. Send the batteau hired at Detroit back, 
under charge of Clinton and two men, with instructions to proceed to 
Amherstburgh, and bring up a batteau of the British party, there (lent 
us) & the Black Jack from Detroit. 

In the afternoon Messrs. Bird and Ferguson proceed to establish 
stations. They survey the shores of Lake St. Clair by driving piles about 
half a mile from the shore & thus are enabled to conduct it trigonome- 
trically. Mr. Bird contrives a stage with four legs six feet long which he 
sinks by the side of his stations in his water and upon which he observes 
with his sextant. Mr. Ferguson observes from the land stations with a 

Saturday, May 19. Remain in camp; my Canadian neighbor 


amuses me thro' the morning by a relation of his ups & downs in life. 
Has a good farm & is rich in lands, children, & houses in Detroit, the 
rent of which makes him independent. A shrewd and hard working 
Canadian, that always makes a good bargain even with his children. 
He has given his two boys who are married each a farm and taken a 
mortgage. He annually acquits them of their interest money upon the 
exaction of a little labor when he requires it, and holds the mortgage as 
a pledge for their industry, and a maintenance in his old age. Such is 
the providence of this Canadian. The wind rises so high at noon that 
Mr. Bird is obliged to abandon his observations at his water stations. 

Severe frost at night. 

Sunday, May 20. Remain in camp. 

Clinton arrives from Amherstburgh with the batteau borrowed from 
the British party, bringing with him the Blackjack from Detroit. Cool, 
evening & night. 

Monday, May 21. Survey conducted to the camp, by observations 
at the water stations, and above the camp by the land stations, and 
stations established about six miles up the lake beyond the camp, both 
upon the shore, and in the lake. 

Tuesday, May 22. Send Clinton to Detroit for some articles and 
for our mail by the steam boat that arrived this morning, a fact known 
to us by the firing of the signal gun of the steam boat. He returns in the 
afternoon. A very high wind from the N.E. prevents surveying on the 
lake. The gentlemen measure their Base Line. 

Wednesday, May 23. A heavy gale of wind from the N.E. with rain, 
keeps the whole party in camp throughout the day. Find my Canadian 
neighbor's fireside more comfortable than my tent, during the cold 
storm of wind and rain. 

Thursday, May 24. Storm continues from the N.E. Are confined to 
our camp. High wind and rain. Before noon storm abates and the 
gentlemen proceed to their stations for observations. Discover a sail 
coming down Lake St. Clair, which I take to be the Confiance; board 
her with Mr. Bird, and find that Mr. Grant, the Master, had pass'd 
Mr. Thompson's camp on the St. Clair without seeing him or any of 
the party; and that he was bound for Black Rock. We explain to him 
that there is no necessity for his proceeding further down, that there 
was nobody below belonging to the party, that Mr. Thompson waited 
for the vessel to proceed to Lake Huron, and that I hoped he would 
come to at Moy in the Detroit, and certainly see or hear from Mr. 
Thompson before he proceeded. Mr. Grant stated that he would come 
to at Moy, and send Mr. Thompson word of his arrival there. The Con- 
fiance left Penatonquashine 1 on the 9th May and was blockaded by ice 

1 Penetanguishene. 


for several days in the Georgian Bay, where Mr. Grant stated the ice 
extended for thirty miles & that he left it there. 

The past Winter upon the lakes has been considered cold, but not so 
extraordinary cold as upon the Atlantic. There has been some more ice 
than for a few Winters past, but not so much snow. The Spring has 
been cold and dry. At this day the apple trees are but beginning to 
bloom, and shew the first germ of their leaves, & for this they are 
indebted to the present storm of rain. 

Friday, May 25. Weather still bad, but the wind falling and less 
rain, allows the gentlemen to do considerable work. They observe at 
their stations so distant from the camp: as to report their readiness to 
move to River Huron as soon as they plot and delineate the shore now 

Saturday, May 26. Weather unsettled, cloudy with showers through- 
out the day. Send forward to Huron River our heavy stores of pork & 
bread, under charge of the steward, in the batteau to be deposited 
there, for the purpose of making the moving of our camp light and 
expeditious. The gentlemen plot the survey already done and delineate 
the neighboring shore. Batteau returns in the evening. 

Sunday, May 27. Weather still unsettled, cloudy with showers. 

The party all in camp. In the afternoon Mr. Bird delineates the shore 
below the camp preparatory to our removal in the morning. 

Monday, May 28. Clear and pleasant, wind southerly. By sunrise 
we begin to load our boats and by 7 o'clock our tents, camp equipage, 
stores and baggage are on board. I proceed in the Blackjack and enter 
the River Huron as high as the wind mill which is about a mile from 
the lake and about 16 miles from Ladeseur, our late encampment. The 
shore is for the most part cleared and settled by Canadians exclusively 
from the Detroit River to the River Huron, with the exception of an 
occasional Prairie between Ladeseur and this place that is too low for 
buildings. At the mouth of the River Huron is an extensive flat or low 
Prairie shooting by long points into the lake so as to make it difficult to 
find the mouth of the river, coming up the lake. These flats extend a 
long distance into the lake and are covered but by about two feet of 
water. In midsummer they are not dangerous to the navigation because 
the rushes grow up for their whole extent, but the approach to the 
Huron River at this season is very deceptive and circuitous. At the 
wind mill the land is about four feet above the water and the river 150 
feet wide and deep. It is stained with vegetable matter to a dark brown 
color & is unfit for use. As before, we encamp in the apple orchard of 
the proprietor of the mill & by 3 o'clock are comfortably & perfectly 
reestablished. Mr. Bird reconnoiters for a Base Line. In the afternoon 
a shower, with thunder and lightning. Our camp is on the farm of Mr. 


Tuesday, May 29. Clear and pleasant. Messrs. Bird and Ferguson 
leave the camp by 7 o'clock a.m. with two boats, crews provisioned for 
two days in the hope of carrying the work up to Huron Point by that 
time, and thus avoid the necessity of repassing the flats & long points at 
the mouth of Huron River. 

In the afternoon walk up the river about two miles. It is pretty well 
settled on the N. side, and also on the S. side for this distance, and is 
said to be settled as far as Pontiac which is thirty miles up the river. 
There is also a small settlement four miles up the river, where has been 
established a county town, called Mount Clements. A jail & Court 
House has been built there and a Judge Clements commissioned. The 
farmers on this part of the river complain of the experiment to force a 
village there as a dear experiment to them, the county being already 
in debt for what they have done. It is in Huron County. It commenced 
three years ago by the settling there of eight or ten American families. 
They are very poor & little progress is making. The settlers upon the 
banks of the Huron River are, with the exception of the Tuckers, all 
Canadians. Mr. Tucker was the first settler upon this river thirty five 
years ago. He held a large tract on the north shore. This tract is now 
divided between his six sons, who are rather good farmers, and pretty 
well established adjoining each other. The soil is extremely rich. It is 
all alluvial or bottom land precisely like the flats of the Mohawk. 
Yields good crops of wheat. This alluvial is very extensive. The farmers 
in this neighborhood begin to feel rather severely the pressure of the 
times. Lack of markets for their produce has made them poor since the 
war, and the merchants at Detroit become reluctant to exchange their 
commodities for produce. It falls particularly hard upon them who have 
never practiced or thought of living otherwise than by barter, and who 
are not accustomed to the spinning wheel, or carding of wool, and know 
not how to supply these resources. The Americans do better altho the 
spinning wheel and loom are almost unknown in the country. 

Mr. Tucker tells me that he has poled a raft from the mouth of Huron 
River to the islands, and that there is nowhere to exceed ten feet of 
water in this route. This river has risen one foot since the ice broke up 
in River St. Clair. Lake St. Clair is so small and shallow a lake, that it 
soon feels the influence of obstructions in the river above. 

In the evening Messrs. Bird and Ferguson return to camp, having 
been enabled to conduct their work to Huron Point, a task that had 
been anticipated as two good days' labor. 

The settlers in this part of the country take much interest in the 
expected boundary line decisions. They all say they do not care much 
about the islands in Lake St. Clair if they can but have the Bois Blanc 


Island 1 in the Detroit as an American island. This little island has con- 
sequence attached to it, because it was of moment during the war, & 
commands the best channel. There is in truth a good channel on our 
side of the Bois Blanc as well as theirs but not so direct. As a military 
position it is of no consequence. Neither Govt, will probably fortify 
there, and in time of war the strongest will possess it. 

Wednesday, May 30. In the morning rain, wind S.E. After dinner 
it clears off & the gentlemen go out and establish stations for several 
miles on the neighboring shores. Evening cool, wind N.W. 

The rate for grinding wheat at the wind mills in this country- is every 
tenth bushel to the miller. No money is ever paid at the mill. The miller 
disposes of his flour to new settlers usually, otherwise takes it to the 
Detroit market. 

Our men bring in a fine mess of fish from the mouth of Huron River, 
black bass, pike, perch and sun fish. Fish are plentiful in Lake St. Clair, 
and particularly at the mouths of the rivers and the outlets of channels 
among the islands. 

A wind mill will grind between sunrise and sunset with a strong wind 
120 bushels of wheat. Mr. Morance has done this much occasionally. 

Thursday, May 31. Cloudy and cool. 

Send Clinton to Detroit with letters and for the mail by the steam 
boat. The gentlemen leave camp to establish stations. A storm of wind 
and rain commences by 12 o'clock and continues thro' the day from 
the N.N.W. They remain out until late in the afternoon. Mr. Bird pro- 
ceeded up the Eagle Channel to its source and returned thro' the North 
or present Ship Channel, first having set some stations upon the small 
islands off the large islands and upon some of the points of the large 
islands. He discovers the stations of the British party, at the mouth of 
the old Ship or Middle Channel. The Eagle Channel after the bar is 
pass'd he describes as a deep channel, but the bar is extensive and has 
but about two feet of water. In the Eagle Channel there is probably 
20 ft. of water and is as wide as the North Channel. It empties thro 
several outlets into the lake over an extensive flat of too little water but 
for small boats. 

Friday, June 1. Clear and cool, wind N.N.W. & high. Party at 
work at a Base Line on the flats opposite our camp. Clinton returns from 
Detroit with the steam boat; letters for such of our party as were for- 
tunate enough to hear from their friends below. 

Saturday, June 2. Clear and pleasant. 

The Base Line is measured and the gentlemen proceed to take angles 

1 One of the islands which ultimately caused friction between the American and 
the British Commissions. 


in the neighborhood of the points and at their stations off the mouth of 
Huron River. 

The surrounding country is entirely alluvion, and the land is rapidly 
encroaching upon the lake. Mr. Morance, the proprietor of the north 
point of Huron River, assures me that since he purchased this spot 
which is fourteen years ago the point has formed at least five acres; or 
as he says the land has grown five acres. The causes and operation of 
alluvial increase are strongly exemplified here. Great quantities of sand 
are always washing down the strong and deep current of the River 
St. Clair, and have in the first places formed the many islands that lie 
off its mouth & which are now indeed the many mouths or outlets of 
that river. The islands are higher at their upper ends, and slope away 
'til covered by the water, and are then extensive flats. The whole lake 
has felt the influence of this deposit, and perhaps nowhere can be found 
to exceed three fathoms of water. This Spring the several channels of 
the St. Clair were blocked by ice except the North Channel. The great 
increase of water forced thro' that channel, Mr. Morance says, has 
entirely altered the direction of the old channel. Has made it more 
direct, and there is now nine feet water. He says he well recollects 
that thirty five years ago he used to go with his father with laden boats 
close to the bank of the lake where Laducre now lives, near Milk River. 
A laden boat cannot approach within quarter of a mile at this time. 

The great quantities of dirt bro't down by the rivers emptying into 
Lake St. Clair contribute largely to its decrease. They are all black and 
dirty streams. Mr. Morance tells me that the last Spring, when the 
flat before us was overflowed, there was left not less than two inches of 
dirt or soil. He says in the Spring, when they have freshets, the water 
of this river is so foul and filled with a variety of matter that it smells 
very bad and they cannot use it in any manner. The rapids commence 
on the River Huron about twelve miles from its mouth, and there the 
banks are high. He says about four miles you reach elevated land, and 
this is a ridge that extends to Lake Michigan. He does not know how 
far the river extends, but has ascended to its source & thinks 70 or 80 
miles. The Black River that empties into River St. Clair he knows more 
than 100 miles. Its rapids commence 25 miles from its mouth, the cur- 
rent very rapid but not broken about nine miles up. The banks at the 
rapids are 100 ft. high, and upon the ridge at his mills, which are thirty 
miles up, you overlook the loftiest trees on the plains below, and further 
up there is a peak or mountain from which you see Lake Huron. The 
bed of the river is all rock, and part of its banks. The high land is barren 
and rocky throughout the territory, says Mr. Morance. The banks of 
the River Huron become very 7 rocky at Pontiac 25 miles up and the 
high land there is also rocky and barren. He does not know the kind of 



rocks, but does know that there is no limestone. He has by his mill 
some large blocks of grey granite brought from the Milk River near its 
mouth; from his imperfect description however am inclined to believe 
that the rocks are rolled masses and not in place. The shore of Lake 
St. Clair from the River Detroit to River Ginmdler 1 is skirted next the 
bank with a line of roll'd rocks and stones all primitive and of various 
& remarkable compounds: below them upon the beach are the roll'd 
limestone (in small stones) sometimes containing shells and madrepores. 
After you pass River Ginmdler, call'd Milk River, the beach is all sand 
without a stone of any description, nor are any stones to be found til 
you reach the high land West of the lake, upon this side of the lake. 

After ascending the River Huron about 80 miles you arrive at its 
source in a little lake; another river with the same names also has its 
source in this little lake and empties into Lake Erie not far from the 
mouth of the Detroit, so that this circuit may be performed without a 
portage. It is said to be very similar to the River Huron of Lake St. 
Clair in size, rapids, and rocks, except that on the River Huron of 
Erie there is said to be limestone. 

On the Black River of the River St. Clair are great quantities of 
excellent pine timber. From thence this country is supplied with its 
pine lumber. It is of large and handsome growth. The mill privileges are 
numerous, but two are improved. Our neighbor, Mr. Morance, has the 
principal sawmill there. He has let it, the present season for one 
thousand dollars to be paid him in lumber at the rate of 10 dlls. per 
thousand ft. He will sell his lumber for 12 or 12^ dollars in Detroit. 

Sunday, June 3. The party all in camp, clear and pleasant day. 
Squire Tucker and Doctor Hartshorne 2 visit me. Learn but little from 
them of the interior that I had not learned before. Ascertain rather 
satisfactorily however that the elevated plain thro this part of Michigan 
has no primitive rocks in place. They say it is stony, and that the rocks 
are mostly rounded and of all sizes from that of a hogshead to pebbles; 
that they are primitive Erie no doubt, but there are no quarries or fixed 

1 According to Dr. M. M. Quaife of Detroit, old maps and records give various 
spellings for this name but evidently based on the French word guignolee. On the 
Aaron Greeley 1810 map of Private Land Claims at Detroit, it appears as "Riviere a 
Ginniolet." On Farmer's Map of Michigan, 1836, it is given as "Guignolet." In 
other papers, "Guinolet." Dr. Quaife advances the idea that possibly mistletoe once 
grew in abundance here and was used in the Christmas and New Year celebrations 
by the French-Canadians in their custom of guignol6e; that the name Riviere a 
Gignolee or New Year River was associated with the stream. The reason for the pres- 
ent name, Milk River, is not known. 

2 It is possible that this was Dr. Joseph Hartshorne, the eminent Philadelphia 
physician, born December 12, 1779 in Alexandria, Virginia. 


rocks, to their knowledge. They say in colors and description they 
resemble the rocks upon the shores of the Lake St. Glair, between 
Detroit River and Milk River, where is a singular variety of compound 
primitive rocks out of place. The region in the rear of us is no doubt 
limestone, altho these persons say not. 

Monday, June 4. Clear and pleasant. 

Messrs. Bird and Ferguson with their respective crews leave camp 
fitted for two days' absence. They intend to finish the work at the 
mouths of the several outlets thro the islands and connect it with the 
work of the British party in that direction previous to their return. The 
ends of these islands or channels are about in a line from the Huron 

Tuesday, June 5. Favorable weather for our operations. Sun mostly 
obscured and distant objects very distinct. Surveyors absent from camp 
amongst the islands. 

Pass a solitary day in camp with little other amusement than fishing. 

The musquitoes make their first' appearance this day, but so young 
as to be harmless. Mr. Ferguson returns to the camp about 9 at night, 
not having met with Bird at the place appointed, and having no tent 
or provisions in his boat. He came from the main shore in Anchor Bay, 
the work at the mouth of the islands being completed. 

Wednesday, June 6. Clear and pleasant, wind S.S.W. Tempe. at 
noon 77 . Mr. Bird returns to dine, having been absent from camp 
since Monday morning, the survey being so far completed as to require 
our removal to the North Channel as soon as the delineations in the 
neighborhood are done. 

At night all hands in camp. 

Thursday, June 7. Clear and calm. Tempe. at noon 79 . Send 
Clinton for our mail by the steam boat and some articles wanted in 

Messrs. Bird and Ferguson plot their work for the past fortnight and 
remain in camp most of the day. 

Friday, June 8. Heavy rain until 7 a.m., when I conclude to remove 
the camp onward, and order accordingly. Before 8 o'clock Clinton 
returns with our mail from Detroit. Our tents are struck, the batteaux 
laden with our stores and camp equipage, The Lady and the Blackjack 
with other baggage and by 10 o'clock we leave the Huron River for 
St. Clair River. Encounter a heavy gust of wind with rain in Hang- 
man's or Turtle Channel. Mr. Bird & myself reach the head of Strom- 
ness or Thompson Island as called and look for our encamping ground. 
Cross over to the main shore at the settlement above Point aux Trembles 
but find the head of Stromness Island to be the most proper & desirable. 

The Black Jack soon comes up, and by 2 o'clock the batteaux; and 


before sun set our establishment is in the same order, and all things 
arranged as before, altho the day had been stormy throughout. 

Saturday, June 9. I set off with Mr. Bird to look for the British party 
and preconcert further arrangements with Mr. Thompson, or rather to 
give them an opportunity to do so. Proceed down the Middle Channel 
and find Mr. Stevenson in his batteau, moving his camp to the St. Clair 
River, having finished the surveys of all the channel's islands, &c. from 
Chenail ficarte to the Middle or Walpole Channel, as also their coast 
of the lake. Learn that Doctr. Bigsby and Mr. Gibbs were in camp on 
the little island above the settlement upon the river, and we concluded 
to proceed with Mr. Stevenson to see them. Mr. Stevenson encamps on 
the American side at the settlement. Doctr. Bigsby informs us that Mr. 
Thompson left the camp on the 7th instant in the schooner Confiance 
bound for Lake Huron to take the observations ordered there by the 
Board; that he calculated upon an absence of about six weeks. Mr. 
Stevenson, it was thought, would finish the St. Clair River in about a 
fortnight and their section of Lake St. Clair and islands in about the 
same time. It was agreed that the party first completing their work 
should repair to the other, so that we might all leave this neighborhood 
together on our way to Lake Erie, where we agree to assist the British 
party in finishing their section about Point Pellet Island and that coast 
of Lake Erie to the Detroit River. A part that had been abandoned 
heretofore on account of the prevailing fevers in their camp, the same 
season and place when and where Mr. Ogilvy fell a victim. 

Sunday, June 10. All the party in camp, clear and warm. 

Learn from one of the settlers upon this island that its proper name 
is Stromness Island, that the first proprietor was a Scotchman who 
came from that place in Scotland and so named the island. It is also 
called Cartwright's & Thompson's. 

Find on the shore a very remarkable fish, resembling I think very 
closely the famed Proteus Anguinus of Austria. It has four short legs 
with four toes on each leg, a flat tail and vertical. The distance between 
the fore and hinder legs greater than the length of the tail. Its head 
flat and broad and close upon the forelegs, has a large mouth, in the 
under jaw one row of small and fine teeth, very numerous, in the upper 
two rows of similar size & shape. Its gills are in three divisions or lobes 
the termination of each lobe division has a feather like appearance so 
minutely it is divided. Its eyes are scarcely apparent, are in the fore 
part of the head and very small. This fish is about 14 inches long, and 
of a dark color, handsomely spotted over the back and tail. Its belly is 
of a yellowish white. l 

1 Necturus of the Great Lakes. 


They are numerous here and upon all the waters between Niagara 
River and Lake Huron, i.e. they are found in the Niagara River and 
the streams emptying into it and in this river and the several channels 
thro' the islands. It is probably an animal of deep & cold waters, as I 
have only heard of it in the neighborhood of such places. It seeks the 
shallows and the sun occasionally, when they may be taken. Preserve 
this animal in rum for further examination and dissection. 

Monday, June II. Messrs. Bird and Ferguson leave camp, the 
former goes down the Eagle Channel, the latter to the bay in the rear 
of Point aux Trembles, and do not return 'til 9 o'clock at night. The 
Middle Channel carries five fathoms of water into the lake, and Mr. 
Bird thinks beyond the Sand Islands, a fact of much importance that 
I resolve to ascertain. The bay of Point aux Trembles is but a shallow 
sand flat, and will as the season advances be filled with rushes. Mr. 
Ferguson saw rattle-snakes of the large spotted yellow kind, in this bay 
as also the Mississaga. Upon this island (Stromness) the small black 
rattle-snake is found, but not the large kind. The copper head is also 
here. Upon the islands not so well cleared, the small rattle-snakes are 
very numerous. 

Tuesday, June 12. At sunrise a heavy fog, and warm sultry morn- 
ing. In the course of the day the thermometer as high as 94 , wind from 
S. & S.W. mostly. Several vessels pass up the river: One the Superior 
with Col. Wool on board on his way to Green Bay. A fresh wind pre- 
vents us having any other communication than by hailing each other. 
The vessel soon runs by the camp. The evening clear and calm. About 
midnight am awoke by a terrible storm of wind, rain, thunder and 
lightning, all excessive. Mr. Ferguson soon comes to my tent saying 
that his has blown over and that Clinton's has also given way, but left 
him holding on to the wreck. In a moment after Mr. Bird comes in 
covered only with a blanket and reports his tent also to be prostrate. 
Turn out and secure mine by driving the pins and adjusting the cords, 
so that it resists the fury of the storm & affords us a shelter until day- 
break when the gentlemen soon have their tents repitched. The scene 
of our misfortunes in the night was attended with so many ludicrous 
incidents, that we could not but laugh in our troubles: Mr. Ferguson 
diving under his fallen tent to make his escape; Clinton holding on to 
his tent poles and lashing the fragments with an axe helve, Mr. Bird 
in the wreck of baggage within his tent scrambling to escape in a blanket 
but served to afford us some amusement thro' the terrors of the storm. 

Wednesday, June 13. Storm continues, thro' the day. Party obliged 
to remain in camp. At night the rain falls very heavy and constantly. 
About midnight the wind rises and alarms me for the safety of our 
tents, but we all escape. The men lodge in Cartwright's barn. The lot 


upon which we encamp is flooded, as is the whole island. The islanders 
say they never before experienced so violent nor long a storm of thunder, 
lightning, wind and rain as that of the previous night, and that they 
suffered in their houses by the bursting open of the doors and breaking 
of the windows. Our canvass roof exempted us from some of these evils, 
altho they are incident to worse ones as the experience of the previous 
night convinced others of the camp. The wind during the storm was 
variable, S.E., S.W., N.E. prevailing. The temperature mild, or we 
should have been great sufferers. The woods do not afford a retreat on 
this island, and our neighbor Cartwright's house is a hovel that shelters 
himself, his horses, sheep and cows promiscuously. To explain the extent 
of his bestiality, the old man three days ago bought a barrel of whiskey: 
since that time he has laid on his back most disgustingly drunk and 
filthy, wallowing with the cattle of his farm under the roof. 

Thursday, June 14. Storm continues. Party detained in camp. In 
the afternoon the rain ceases, and the boats go out and come in at night. 
They bring me a gar fish that is, I believe, more frequent in these 
waters than in the other lakes. I also find today a very remarkable 
little animal that appears to be amphibious. It has the fore claws some- 
what like the lobster, a head like an insect protected under a shield or 
case like a turtle. Back of this small case or head piece are two small 
wings. Has a long tail something like the lobster, and is found when 
travelling from the river up the sandy shore. It works its way under the 
sand like a mole, raising a little furrow as it passes, when it may be 
taken. They are numerous here, it appears from the traces on the 
shores. I never saw but the present one, which is preserved for examina- 
tion &c. This animal seems to partake of the fish, the bird & the insect. 
It is but two inches long. Whether full grown or not, cannot tell. 

The bill fish is so called from its long bill like mouth which is well 
armed with fine sharp teeth. It has four lateral fins and two vertical 
fins. The first pair lateral immediately behind the gills, the second do. 
about the middle of the body & the two vertical ones near the tail. 
Its tail vertical, eyes large, thick skin closely set with strong scales that 
are rather small for the size of the fish. It is a long, tapering and hand- 
some fish. Back of brownish blue and belly yellowish white: colors like 
the sturgeon. They are numerous on the sand flats of Lake St. Clair. 
I have not seen them in the other lakes. It is the Esox osseous, and is 
found in most if not all of the lakes. 

Friday, June 15. We are greeted by the light of a shining sun this 
morning for the first time sufficient to feel its influence for four days. 

The gentlemen leave the camp after an early breakfast and return 
at night from their respective sections of survey. 

Saturday, June 16. Remain in camp, the gentlemen out at their 


work. Some of the islanders come to see me, among them a Mrs. Mac- 
Donald a clever Scotchwoman who has been in this country sixteen 
years, and together with her husband came out with Lord Selkirk. 
Lord Selkirk at that time brought with him a large flock of Merino 
sheep and MacDonald came out as shepherd. He rented the large 
island of this groupe on the Chenail ficarte of the Indians and stock'd 
it with his sheep. He called the island St. Mary's after an estate of his 
in Scotland and placed an overseer there. His sheep did not thrive 
well, owing sometimes to the want of subsistence and generally to the 
want of fidelity on the part of his overseers. They severally became sots, 
according to MacDonald. At the commencement of the war Forsyth 
plundered the island, carried off about nine hundred head of sheep and 
other property. They were afterward retaken at Hull's surrender except 
a few that were butchered at Detroit. Butchered by the Indians, those 
sold got into the possession of the neighboring farmers and thence the 
breed of Merinos that is now common amongst the farmers and 
peasants here. Lord Selkirk used to send the wool to England, but they 
cannot tell me whether it answered his purpose. This misfortune awaited 
the praiseworthy efforts of this nobleman. His object seemed to be in 
this respect to benefit his fellow creatures, rather than himself. His 
people here speak in high terms of the humanity and goodness of Lord 
Selkirk. His expenditures in this country were enormous. 

The sheep were taken upon the plea that they were public property, 
but I do not know how Forsyth could so consider them, nor how Hull 
could countenance the seeming outrage. Evils of this kind were retorted 
upon our farmers with a vengeance. 

Sunday, June 17. Heavy storm of rain commences the night before 
with thunder and lightning, wind from all quarters, and settles into a 
steady rain. Wind from N.W. 

The party all in camp. Clears off in the afternoon, evening cool and 

Monday, June 18. Leave Camp in The Lady for the purpose of 
sounding off the mouth of the Walpole or Old Ship Channel. Proceed 
down the Eagle Channel, in which you carry four and four and a half 
fathom water, until it spreads into the lake over a bar of not more than 
three feet water extending from the Sand Islands to the points of the 
islands forming the outlet on either side of the Eagle Channel. Sound on 
a line from the further Sand Island to the North point of Old Ship 
Channel — One quarter of a mile from the mouth of the channel find 
four and four & a half fathom water. Put out into the lake find three 
fathom and when abreast of the outer sand island come to the bar, in 
the deepest place covered with nine feet of water, but very irregular, 
the sand being in waves. This channel, if good, would be of vast im- 


portance. It is in the same line with the River St. Clair, and the wind 
that would carry from either Lake St. Glair or Lake Huron, would at 
the same time carry you thro' this channel. The channel now used has 
scarcely nine feet of water, and it requires three changes of wind to 
pass into Lake Huron, so circuitous is the route. Vessels are conse- 
quently sometimes detained a week at this pass, and the present season 
most of the heavy schooners have been accompanied with lighters to 
aid them over the bar. Coming down the lakes the Old Ship Channel is 
certainly preferable because direct. Going up it has no other disadvan- 
tage than the want of anchorage should there be a necessity to come to. 
This necessity cannot ordinarily happen. If a head wind, the old 
anchorage can be made; if a fair wind, the bar passed. As soon as you 
pass the bar, the islands afford sufficient shelter. The several channels 
running by all these islands carry from four to four and a half fathom 
water to their outlet. The West branch of the Old Ship Channel carries 
this depth so far into the lake, that I had little doubt but what I had 
found as good a channel as could be wished. About half a mile however 
from its mouth you find the water begins to shoal and suddenly pass 
from four to two fathoms and down to nine feet. The pass of nine feet 
is but narrow, and East or West of that point you find but one fathom. 
The changes that annually take place here must be very considerable. 
The sandy south shore of Lake Huron seems to be rapidly passing into 
the bed of Lake St. Clair. The St. Glair River and the several channels 
thro which it empties are deeper than the lake, are all of strong current 
and terminate in flats of great extent. The islands are higher at their 
heads and also decrease toward their lower ends until they are lost in 
the sand flats of the lake. The heads of these islands are covered with 
soil of one footh depth, which diminishes as you go down the island 
until it also terminates in sand. It is not probable that other causes 
than the currents of the rivers operate in this manner here. Currents of 
air I imagine have little to do with it. I know of no sand barrens to 
be wafted here, except the shore of Lake Huron, and the operation of 
the water there is too palpable to go in search of other causes. The head 
of the St. Clair River is cap'd by the sand of Lake Huron, and the rapids 
carry it down as it arrives. The time may come when the small Lake 
St. Clair will be one large sand plain or prairie with a narrow channel 
winding thro' it. I believe that time will come. The sand is constantly 
deposited farther out into the lake, as the current extends with the con- 
tracted channels. It would not be very difficult to force a great part of 
the St. Clair River down the Old Ship or Middle Channel by dams 
across the North Channel and Chenail ficarte" &c, but the effect would 
be to remove the bar farther into the lake. Should even the whole lake 
be choked with sand and the whole river St. Clair pass thro' one chan- 


nel to the Detroit, I do not apprehend the navigation of these waters 
would be improved, because the bar will be carried so much farther 
down and on a large scale. It may be that by removing the bars from 
St. Clair they are deposited at the entrance of Lake Erie. 

Mr. Bird remains in camp this day and plots his map of the islands 
and adjacent lake shores. Mr. Ferguson goes to his work below. At 
night very heavy thunder showers. 

Tuesday, June 19. Cloudy. The gentlemen proceed to their work 
amongst the islands. Remain in camp. 

In the afternoon very heavy showers with thunder & lightning and a 
hail storm. 

The boats return in the evening, both parties thoroughly drenched as 
we all have been almost daily for a week past. 

In the morning am visited by a Capt. Stuart & nephew from Maiden, 
and a Mr. Hudson 1 , an American. They are on a tour of pleasure and 
to give Mr. Hudson, who is in the missionary employ, a little practical 
excursion up the St. Clair. Capt. Stuart appears full of holy zeal and is 
an intelligent pleasing man of good address & good manners. In this 
business he is rather what may be called an amateur & well wisher than 
a missionary. They all distribute tracts however & are equally zealous. 
Mr. Hudson is acquiring the Indian language, for the purpose of accom- 
panying a mission to the Sagina Bay, to be sent there in the Autumn, to 
consist of preacher, teacher, mechanics and farmers. The Sagina 
Indians are a vicious and bad set. Success attend the mission. Messrs. 
Stuart & Rankin breakfast with me, whilst Mr. Hudson visits the 
neighboring settlers with his tracts. They soon after proceed in an ele- 
gant sail boat of Capt. Stuart's. By them I send Mr. Stevenson a bale 
of blankets & a letter to Dr. Bigsby. 

They do not neglect to leave my men a set of their tracts & Capt. 
Stuart presents me with some select tracts handsomely printed & done 
up as an evidence of his good will, and an acknowledgment of my 
civilities to him and party; and I ought to add as a hint that my own 
attention should be for ought he knew more frequently fixed upon 
spiritual things. 

Wednesday, June 20. Cloudy, and some rain in the morning, 
wind N.E. 

The gentlemen proceed to their work. In the afternoon, walk down 
the shore of the Eagle Channel, and see Brown and McDonald who are 
Scotch settlers there. The former has some of Lord Selkirk's full blood 
Merino sheep, and was his shepherd. These sheep have lost their value 

1 Probably the Rev. Charles Hudson, born in Massachusetts Nov. 1 4, 1 795, and 
who was licensed as a Universalist preacher in 18 19. 


here. At the sale of the flock after the war a best full blood ram would 
go for five and six dollars. Brown has just cut a fine ram having more 
than is right for his yews, and having no means of disposing of him. 
The half breed he considers the best. He says the full bloods degenerate 
in this country without mixture. 

These people know not the value of fine wool. A great district of 
country with a considerable population has not a fulling mill and the 
loom is scarcely known in their homes. The water privileges are suffi- 
cient for all manufacturing purposes, and the farmers now feel that 
they have neglected their true interests by an entire dependance upon 
the Detroit merchant for everything they wear, and for too many 
things they eat & drink. 

Thursday, June 2 1 . Clear and cool, wind N. & N.N.W. The brig, 
Wellington, schooners, Govr. Gore & Lake Serpent, pass down the 
river & some smaller vessels, giving this river the appearance of much 
commerce. In truth, it is surprising to realize the navigation of these 
waters, crowded as I occasionally see the St. Clair River with canvass, 
and reflect upon their unknown condition but yesterday. Ere long 
the square rigg'd vessels like those of the Atlantic will be familiar here, 
and a race of skilful & hardy fresh water tars will vie with the sons of 
old Neptune for pre-eminence in seamanship. The ship-builder too 
will have great scope for his art in these remote waters. At present it is 
the fashion to imitate in all things the ways and customs of the sons of 
salt water, but so peculiar a navigation must raise peculiar seamen and 
peculiar usages. When hay-makers become sailors, and the green 
woods float away in the models of ships and schooners, something new 
under the sun will come out of it. As yet, no lake slang nor lake tactics 
is in vogue, but its foundation is laid. 

Since we encamped upon this river the water has risen in the several 
channels at least one foot. The Black River, it is said, has risen eleven 
feet, and is four feet higher than known in the memory of the oldest 
settler. The other rivers emptying into the river and Lake St. Clair 
have all risen prodigiously and empty their dark waters with such pro- 
fusion into the bright waters of the deep and green St. Clair that it is 
all one dirty and blackish stream. 

Friday, June 22. Clear, calm and warm. The gentlemen leave 
camp early & have a favorable day for work. Mr. Bird finds a deep bay 
in the lower end of Herson's Island that gives more trouble and causes 
more labor than anticipated. He obtains however all the requisite 
material for his map by sun set. Receive a letter from Dr. Bigsby, who 
has charge of the British party. He states that this day their work is 
within eight miles of Fort Gratiot, and that in five days Mr. Stevenson 
expects to close it; and that it is unnecessary for us to repair thither. 


Reply to the Doctor that our work will be done by Tuesday evening 
next; that Messrs. Bird and Stevenson must meet to preconcert meas- 
ures of joint operation before we can commence at Point Pele, & that 
we will wait here until the middle of the week, with the hope of seeing 
them by that time, but that, should a favorable wind induce us to pro- 
ceed, we would encamp at the mouth of the Detroit River, at Elba, or 
its neighborhood and wait their arrival there. 

Saturday, June 23. Clear and calm, Tempe. at noon 85 F., wind 
S. and S.S.W. 

Put up three of the extraordinary fish of these waters for cabinet use. 
The one that I believe to be the Proteus Anguinus of Cuvier 1 of con- 
venient size & perfect that I put in spirits, and throw away the large 
one, that had been too long dead before found to make a good prepara- 
tion. One a large fleshy and fat fish somewhat in form like the cat fish. 
Large mouth with small fine teeth, two fins by the shoulders a long 
narrow fin on the lower half of its back and belly, edging it like an eel, 
and a fin tail, one prong nearly an inch long, hanging a little behind its 
under lip. This fish is active, and when held by the head would wind 
its tail up to its head, but was too large & clumsy to throw itself into 
folds. The settlers here did not know the fish (the Lake Cod of Mitchell). 
Another was a small pale green tapering animal six inches long, without 
fins of any kind, a mouth like the sucker, eyes scarcely apparent and a 
dotted line on each side of the head extending one inch. The animal 
probably breathed thro' these small holes. They were situated like the 
gills of other fish (young lamprey eel) . The fish before described like 
the catfish, has one row of teeth in the lower front jaw in a cluster, a 
corresponding row on the upper jaw, and another row on the roof of 
the mouth further back. The fish when alive would attempt to bite 
anything placed near its head. Between the skin and entrails there was 
a curious formation. It consisted of a considerable number of rounded 
parallel filaments detached, and about three inches long, thus in the 
Lake Cod of Mitchell. 

The little eel-like fish, a lad tells me he has seen before fixed upon a 
sturgeon when it was taken. If so, they may be of the leech kind. 

Sunday, June 24. Clear. Light wind S.W., Temp, at noon 87 . The 
party all in camp. 

Monday, June 25. Clear, Tempe. at noon 88i^°. 

The gentlemen measure a Base Line on Herson's Island, and spend 
the rest of the day in camp plotting their maps. 

1 Cuvier, author of Theory of the Earth, a book, the American edition of which had 
appeared in 181 8, from the press of Kirk and Mercain, N. Y., and had created great 
interest in America. Delafield's Diary shows evidence of careful study of this famous 
scientific work. 



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Mr. Smith, a Justice of the Peace, & his neighbor living on the St. 
Clair, call upon me. The former, to advise concerning the farm held 
by McDonald, his father-in-law, on this (Stromness) island. The pur- 
chase was from Gartwright, who bought of Thompson, who with others 
bought of the Indians with permission of the then Comd'g British 
Officer at Detroit. The Comd'g Officer was authorized to make such 
grants in behalf of his government. He kept a record of such grants, 
and gave some instrument explanatory of the sale. Such titles have 
been confirmed & are good. Explain to Mr. Smith that such titles as 
were good under the British Gov't will be secured to them under the 
American Gov't in case of change of dominion, and that whether 
Stromness Island belong to the U.S. or not, McDonald's title on that 
account undergoes no change. Also express to Mr. Smith my opinion 
& belief that this island will be an American island, upon which he 
determines to enter their claims for lands with the Land Commis- 
sioners now holding a Board for such purpose at Detroit. 

Tuesday, June 26. The surveys are finished this day to connect 
with the surveys of the British party at the Chenail Ecarte and the 
mouth of the St. Clair River. 

Pomeville with stores for the British Party passes by this day on his 
way from Fort Erie to join them, wherever he can find them — The 
stores brought up by Pomainville not being in time for the party were, 
as I afterwards learned, delivered at Maiden for the use of the next 

Wednesday, June 27. Rain. A fair wind however induces us to 
strike our tents and proceed for the Detroit, there to wait the coming 
of the British party. Our boats are laden and we set sail about eight 
o'clock. Run down the Eagle Channel, cross Lake St. Clair & arrive 
at Detroit about three o'clock. When off Hog Island take the soundings 
on both sides, sending Mr. Ferguson down the American side. On the 
British side the greatest depth is 8 fathoms, on our side five. . . . Wait 
at Detroit for the arrival of the batteau. Make all requisite arrange- 
ments there about provisions, bills due &c, &c. and when the batteau 
arrives we all proceed down the river, and encamp at twilight on a 
plain nearly opposite the Spring Wells on the Canada shore for the 
night: myself & Bird in the Lady of the Lakes, Ferguson in the Black 
Jack, and Clinton in the batteau, being the order of our march on 

Thursday, June 28. Take an early breakfast and proceed down the 
Detroit River to the Bois Blanc. Look for a convenient spot for our 
camp on the head of Bois Blanc, at Elba or Grosse Isle, at Hickory 
Island and the foot of Bois Blanc, and find the most desirable spot at 
the latter place, where I assemble the boats, and by dinner time our 


camp is in perfect order and beautifully situated. Looking upon Lake 
Erie on our right, the Canada shore handsomely improved in front, the 
Detroit and town of Maiden on our left. At the lower extremity of Bois 
Blanc is the ruin of a small fort, thrown up by the British during the 
war. It is a square work for eight guns, two on each face, a deep ditch, 
and on an elevation about 20 feet from the water. Its parapets of sods 
& the earth from the ditch. Gate in the rear, or rather once was there, 
the rear being toward the upper end of the island. Bois Blanc Island is 
of very good soil, timbered with basswood and hickory. Its banks from 
3 to 1 o feet high and is a beautiful little plot of ground. 

Friday, June 29. Clear. Cross over to visit Col. Hawkins, the 
Comdg. Officer at Maiden. Maiden seems to be on the decline. We 
walk'd thro' the place and neither saw a soul stirring in the town, not 
even horse or dog, nor heard the sound of voice, hammer or other im- 
plement. The scene was dreary, and I gladly accompanied the Colonel 
to his quarters down the river, from whence I returned to camp. The 
Colonel states that on the lakes above Niagara there are six sail of 
vessels belonging to the British and seventy to the Americans. The 
former number he knows to be right, the latter he believes to be so. 

Saturday, June 30. Col. Hawkins of the 68th visits us in camp. 

Myself, Bird & Ferguson dine with Col. Hawkins and mess at 5 p.m. 
Capt. Reed, Lieut's Jackson and Black and Doct'r Tenant are stationed 
at this post. 

Doct'r Bigsby arrives from the St. Clair River. He states that Mr. 
Stevenson was to leave there this day, but thought he would stop at 
Moy for two or three days. 

The Doct'r brings with him Pomeville and the stores he had in 
charge, having met with him on the St. Clair River, and taken them 
from on board one vessel to the other. Advise the doct'r to send notice 
to Stevenson of his arrival here, of the stores being at Maiden, and the 
necessity of his repairing here without delay, so that we may proceed 
to our duties. 

Sunday, July 1. Rain, wind S.E., Tempe. 75 at noon. 

Go to church at Maiden with Col. Hawkins. Congregation small, 
Priest and Clerk rather dull and stupid in their vocations. Return to 
camp to dine. 

Learn from Col. Hawkins that one reason why the people at Maiden 
take so great interest in the Bois Blanc Island is that in case it is to be a 
British island a Navy Depot is to be established at Maiden, and that 
they wait the decision of the Board for such purpose, a question of vital 
importance to the welfare of Maiden. It is now on the decline. The 
Navy Depot would do much to resuscitate the place. 

The Colonel shews me the standing order of the Govr. General of the 


Canada's in 1794, signed "Dorchester," relative to the purchase of 
lands from the Indians. It is ordered that no individual be allowed to 
purchase, that persons desirous to make purchases give notice to the 
Superintendent or Dep'y Supt. Genl., accompanying application with 
plot of ground &c: that Councils be held for such purpose; that all due 
ceremony be observed according to ancient usage of the Indians; that 
it be agreed in Council what amount of goods of British manufacture 
shall be paid; that three formal deeds be prepared by the Attorney 
General; that they be executed in Council by the Chiefs, the Officer 
attending on the part of His Majesty, and before three witnesses; that 
one copy be kept by such officer, one by the party purchasing, the other 
given to the Indians. 

This order altho' not now strictly conformed to, is the present stand- 
ing order and has been revived by each succeeding Govr. Genl. of the 
Provinces. From this it appears that no titles derived from Indians, 
altho with permission of Comding. Military Officers, without the former 
ceremonies, are strictly valid, no officer but the Governor General 
having the power to grant permission for purchases, or rather to hold 
Councils for such purposes. 

Monday, July 2. In camp, Bois Blanc Island. In the evening Drs. 
Bigsby and Tenant visit us. 

The steam boat passes up. Get papers and letters from Black Rock, 
but other letters being mailed for Detroit cannot obtain them, much to 
our disappointment. 

Tuesday, July 3. Breakfast with Col. Hawkins and join a party on 
a hunt to Celeron Island for rattle snakes, an amusement in this country 
that strongly indicates the great dearth of reasonable objects of pastime. 
Celeron Island is famed for the number of its snakes. They are the black 
rattle snake called Mississagui by distinction from the large, brown rattle 
snake with yellow spots. The previous night had been quite cool and 
but few snakes were abroad. We took two however in our walk around 
the island. There were hay cutters upon the island, who said they had 
killed several whilst mowing. These men protect themselves from the 
bite by tying pieces of blanket about their legs, as high as the knees, a 
very necessary precaution to rattle snake sportsmen and hay cutters. 
We had not been so provident, and roving thro' the high grass, run 
risks that had better have been avoided. The Mississaga rattle snake 
when examined is handsome, on account of its color. The brown, black 
and yellow colors of a soft, velvet-like appearance make the skin a rich 
one to the eye. 

On the return, the party take a luncheon with me in camp, & we take 
a five o'clock dinner with Dr. Bigsby and the mess. In the morning Mr. 
Ferguson proceeded to Sandwich and took with him a letter from me 


to Mr. Stevenson acquainting him with our detention here on his 
account & the arrival of his stores & Doct'r Bigsby at this place & 
urging his joining our party forthwith. Mr. Ferguson returns without 
having found Mr. Stevenson at Sandwich. 

Wednesday, July 4. Cool, clear and pleasant. Order an extra dinner 
&c, for the men. Col. Hawkins invites us to dine with him. Not know- 
ing how to apologize, accept. 

About 2 p.m. the steam boat comes down the river with a large party 
of ladies & gentlemen from Detroit, to spend the day in festivity on 
board. I join the party for a little time, find there many acquaintances, 
and have much difficulty in declining their solicitations to remain. A 
band of music, the dance, the reading of the Declaration of Independ- 
ence, and a good dinner were the arrangements I witnessed for their 
day's celebration. Leave the boat a mile above Maiden, return to camp, 
and thence to dine with Col. Hawkins and mess. Return in the evening 
to camp & find that the men had enjoyed their frolic to such excess, as 
to be perfectly drown' d in sleep, whatever other causes may have 
drowned their better senses in the day. 

Thursday, July 5. Remain in camp. In the afternoon the steam 
boat passes down and get a packet of letters and papers from home. 
Capt. Stuart of Maiden visits me and brings with him as a present, his 
"Emigrants' Guide to Upper Canada." This gentleman is a retired 
Capt. of the E. India service, a zealous, religious devotee and has a 
settlement of blacks near him of about 20 huts, whom he has both 
colonized and evangelized. They are principally run- away negroes 
from the States (as is said). 

Friday, July 6. Call for Col. Hawkins, Dr. Bigsby & Mr. Jackson, 
and sail up the river to look at a snake imbedded in rock, according to 
the gentlemen of the garrison. It proves to be no snake, as I anticipated, 
but an inferior specimen of a similar formation that abounds in the 
rocks by Fort Erie, of the madrepore kind, probably. Return to Maiden 
and overtake Mr. Gibbs with a batteau and skiff, from Sandwich, where 
he left Mr. Stevenson, who had just arrived from the St. Clair. Mr. 
Gibbs, it seems, had been sent down by Mr. Stevenson, to return with 
a large cutter of theirs lying at Maiden, to bring him back with a 
quantity of provisions from Mcintosh's store. The batteau came down 
empty, and they have more stores now at Maiden than they require. 
In short, the whole of their stores intended for the season have but just 
arrived from Fort Erie, of which Mr. Stevenson had been apprized. 
The mis-management of this party throughout the season under the 
instructions of Mr. Thompson has been egregious. The absence of a 
principal has been of more serious disadvantage to the British party 
this season, than ever before — and the accounts of the year will verify 
my assertion. 


Our detention at this place for nine days, without the means of pro- 
ceeding to assist them in their unfinished work upon Lake Erie, as 
agreed, I know not how to ascribe to any other cause than gross neglect, 
or gross want of judgment in Mr. Stevenson. He was to have been here 
within a day or two of the time that we arrived, and he well knew that 
we could not proceed to their unfinished work without his presence to 
explain the nature of it, more particularly the points established by 
them for a Base Line measured by them in the Winter. Besides which 
Mr. Stevenson gave me notice thro' Doct'r Bigsby that his work was 
nearly done on the St. Clair, & that we need not come there to assist 
him, as I had proposed, a course we should have certainly pursued if 
any suspicion of this delay had existed. 

The cutter returns for Mr. Stevenson in the afternoon. Messrs. Gibbs 
and Pomeville go with it to Sandwich, Mr. Gibbs assuring me that he 
will exert himself to induce Mr. Stevenson to come down the river in 
the morning of tomorrow. 

Dine with Col. Hawkins and the gentlemen of the post. 

Saturday, July 7th. Remain in camp, anxiously waiting arrival of 
British party. Accept invitation from Col. Hawkins to meet them at 
dinner. Send apology by Messrs. Bird and Ferguson who dine with the 

Stevenson does not arrive. Feeling much at loss how to account for 
his delay, Mr. Bird and myself conclude to ride to Sandwich on the 
morrow and ascertain the difficulty. 

Sunday, July 8th. Breakfast with Col. Hawkins whose hospitalities 
of this nature we find it impossible to decline. He agrees to accompany 
us to Sandwich in search of Mr. Stevenson. We set off in his tilbury 
hunting gig, with two horses tandem, in high style for this part of the 
country. It has a seat behind that enables us all to go in the same 
machine. Upon our arrival at Sandwich find Mr. Stevenson's camp of 
one Marquee and three Bell tents well arranged, and shortly after find 
him. He stated that he arrived there Thursday night very late; that 
Friday he sent Mr. Gibbs down to bring up a larger boat to take provi- 
sions from Mcintosh's store; that the day following was spent in clean- 
ing boat, in making some shirts for his men; and this day, being Sunday, 
seemed to be literally a day of rest altho the wind was free and fresh to 
run down the river. Mr. Stevenson had with him upon his arrival at 
Sandwich one large batteau and two skiffs. They certainly would have 
carried down all his provisions & articles in Mcintosh's store, instead 
of which he sent them down light & empty. Mr. Stevenson says that all 
this is in conformity to Mr. Thompson's instructions. We dine at Moy 
or near Mcintosh's at La Graves and return to Maiden by eight o'clock. 
Mr. Stevenson assures he will leave there early in the morning from 


Monday, July 9. Mr. Stevenson arrives about five o'clock p.m. from 
Sandwich and enca